Just because they were once the most powerful men on Earth and the leaders of the free world, doesn’t mean that the United States presidents weren’t also human. But when most people think of presidential sex scandals, they immediately default to Bill Clinton, who in 1998 faced a media frenzy and impeachment trial for receiving oral sex from an intern.
You’d think from the public outcry that Clinton’s indiscretion was the first time a president had been involved in a sex scandal while in office. But that’s hardly the case.
Here’s a list of 8 presidential sex scandals that should give hope to anyone crushing on our current Commander in Chief Barack “Sexy Chocolate” Obama and that blessedly, don’t involve the words “Monica Lewinsky.”
10. Woodrow Wilson & Edith Galt
The 28th President of the United States kind of looks like a school librarian, and in that respect, a total square. But ol’ Woody Wilson was down to get down, especially after his first wife died in 1914. Wilson met widow Edith Galt and the two were married, suspiciously less than a year after his first wife’s death. Rumors abounded that Wilson had murdered his wife, or else he must have been having an affair. But, the heart wants what it wants, regardless of how much Mrs. Wilson the first was probably rolling in her fresh grave: Wilson and Galt were married that December.
9. Dwight D. Eisenhower & Kay Summersby
Who knew the guy they named my elementary school after was also an adulterer? As a soldier in Europe during World War II, Eisenhower allegedly began an affair with Kay Summersby, whose name makes her sound like she would be played by Zooey Deschanel in the movie adaptation. Ike wanted to divorce his wife Mamie and marry Kay but his general, a guy who obviously hates true love, threatened to kick him out of the army. Dwight pined in silence until 1975 when Summersby wrote a book titled Past Forgetting: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower. Women: they all eventually sell you out.
8. Warren G. Harding & Nan Britton
Harding, whose very name reads like it requires a “That’s what she said,” didn’t have time to be a good president because he was always too busy chasing tail. Considered one of the worst leaders of our country in its history, Harding with a woman named Nan Britton, 34 years his junior. He even allegedly fathered her daughter, Elizabeth Ann, the subject of Britton’s tell-all book (see what I mean?), The President’s Daughter. If Warren were alive today, Dateline’s Chris Hansen would be asking him to take a seat over there.
7. Warren G. Harding & Carrie Phillips
Harding takes the number six slot for yet another sex scandal he faced while in office. Harding had an affair with his wife’s married friend, Carrie Phillips, who later blackmailed him while he was in office. Phillips hold the distinction of being the only woman in American history to successfully blackmail an entire political party using her feminine wiles. The bastard even wrote her love letters on Senate stationary so she had plenty of material to convince him to give her an annual stipend for her silence. Smooth move, Warren G. Real smooth.
6. Grover Cleveland & Maria Crofts Halpin
Our 22nd president proved that even having a name like “Grover” won’t keep you from getting mad laid. However, one thing our fair leader should have done is worn a condom. In 1884, while Cleveland was running for President, allegations surfaced that he had an illegitimate son with a woman named Maria Crofts Halpin. Cleveland took responsibility for the boy and his detractors started a well-known taunt, “Ma Ma, where’s Pa?” But Cleveland was so bad-ass that he got the last laugh and was elected anyway. Two years after taking office, he even married the 21-year-old daughter of his friend, Oscar Folsom. Grover Cleveland: he looks like a Walrus and he does what he wants.
5. Franklin Delano Roosevelt & Lucy Mercer
That’s right. The president who spent much of his time in a wheelchair probably had a better sex like than you. “FDR” was notoriously flirtatious, but his wife’s secretary, Lucy Mercer, was his sole true love for nearly as long as his political career. The two exchanged love letters that were eventually discovered in 1918 by Eleanor, Roosevelt’s wife. Eleanor, who herself has faced many allegations of being a closeted lesbian, offered to divorce FDR but they eventually stayed together. His relationship with Lucy, though, carried on until 1945 and she was even with Roosevelt at the time of his sudden death in Georgia. Eleanor was out hiking with some female friends for the weekend. (Only joking.)
4. John F. Kennedy & Judith Campbell Exner
By far, this country’s best-looking president, John F. Kennedy had many affairs during his time in office — most notably with Marilyn Monroe. His wife, Jackie Onassis, was also a supreme hottie so “JFK” basically spent most of his political career surrounded by sexy ladies. One affair, however, led to allegations of mafia connections that became scandalous. Judith Campbell Exner (a friend of singer Frank Sinatra’s) was linked to both Kennedy and Chicago mob boss Salvatore Giancana in the 1960s and later alleged that she’d helped Kennedy and Giancana correspond with each other. Then again, she also claimed she’s aborted their child and slept with the President’s brother, Bobby. Even Presidents can’t resist a good crazy chick.
3. John F. Kennedy & Marilyn Monroe
“JFK” and the world’s hottest blonde bombshell deserve their own place in the top three presidential sex scandals. Introduced once again by Frank Sinatra, the sexy 60′s pair started invoking suspicion when Monroe sang her infamous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at his 1962 birthday party at Madison Square Garden. According to historians, Monroe was in love with the married Kennedy and when he broke off the affair, took solace in the arms of his brother, Bobby. (Damn, Bobby was doing work with those John cast-offs, huh?)
2. Thomas Jefferson & Sally Hemings
Ol’ TJ is notorious among history buffs for his love of black women and the rumor isn’t untrue. In the 18th century, it was totally legit for the President of the United States to own slaves, as most people did. But for the President to be boning one of those slaves and oh, fathering her child? That’s a tough one for the American public to swallow. Allegations of an affair between Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings first sprouted up during his Presidency but Tommy boy managed to keep things under wraps until after his death. Almost 200 years later, a DNA test on descendants of Jefferson and Hemings confirmed a genetic link.
1. James Buchanan & William Rufus King
James Buchanan easily takes the top slot because he may have been our country’s only homosexual president. That’s right, Abraham Lincoln conspiracy theorists. It may have actually been Lincoln’s predecessor who opened the doors for a gay Commander in Chief. Buchanan was the only President to remain a lifelong bachelor, something that even in today’s elections would seem suspicious. On top of that, he lived for more than a decade with Senator William Rufus King, who was referred to — not so flatteringly — by others in Washington, most notably Andrew Jackson, as “Aunt Fancy,” “Miss Nancy” and, most unambiguously, Buchanan’s “wife.” In a letter written while King was in Europe in 1844, Buchanan complained to his pal of “having no companion in the house with me,” and said he’d “gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but [had] not succeeded with any of them.” However, like Anderson Cooper and Jodie Foster, Buchanan never officially came out of the closet. But come on, just look at that neckerchief!
Sources and photos: Wikipedia