Pee-gate had all the makings of a truly ‘yuge’ White House sex scandal: Russian escorts, a multi-participant urination show, and the president-elect acting decidedly un-presidential. Now, hindsight being what it is, we know that the unconfirmed pee-gate reports were bogus. That said, the White House has a pretty depraved history when it comes to some of its presidents. There are Commander-in-Chiefs with a list of sexual improprieties that even made me blush. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about White House sex scandals.
Ah, the much-celebrated T. J—third President of the U.S., Author of the Declaration of Independence, polymath, philosopher, and lover to his half-black slave, Sally Hemings (also his wife’s half-sister – talk about keeping things in the family). Jefferson freed the four surviving children Sally bore him, but never gave Sally her freedom. Pretty damning stuff today, to be sure, but less so during Jefferson’s time, when Virginian plantation owners often took their slaves as concubines.
More than one hundred years ago, America had its first gay president. Today, you’d like to think we’d all be open minded enough to accept and embrace a gay president; after all, around 1 in 35 people consider themselves gay. The evidence that the fifteenth president was gay? A pretty lucid letter from James Buchanan himself to Mrs. Roosevelt.
“I am now ‘solitary and alone,’ having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection.” – James Buchanan
John F. Kennedy
JFK was a notorious womanizer according to facts presented in an article by Alternet. Kennedy’s black book was a veritable who’s-who of celebrities and socialites, including: Marilyn Monroe, Blaze Starr, Angie Dickinson, and many others. Many, many others. It’s even said that fellow lothario Frank Sinatra played wing-man for JFK, providing him with a constant supply of women to bed. Some contend that JFK’s dalliance with Judith Exner Campbell, also paramour of a pretty nasty mob boss, led to his assassination. Though the press knew about the president’s bedroom business, they kept it hush.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. always strikes me as a pretty dull guy, though his love life was apparently anything but. According to biographer Robert Dallek via The Atlantic, “When people mentioned Kennedy’s many affairs, Johnson would bang the table and declare that he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose.” LBJ carried on a whopping twenty-one year affair with Madeleine Brown, on top of numerous other trysts. Apparently, LBJ was also well-endowed and liked to show off his… ‘Johnson’ to colleagues, affectionately referring to it as “Jumbo”.
No list would be complete without Bill Clinton. The most visible and notorious of all White House sex scandals, variously called: “Monicagate”, “Sexgate”, or “Zippergate” in which the leader of the free world received sexual favors in the highest office of the land from an intern. Sexual misconduct allegations followed Bill Clinton long before entering the White House, but none received as much press as this one, which put the President in front of a grand jury, and nearly led to his impeachment. Perhaps not his final moment, everyone will remember Bill’s lie/not lie, in which he famously said: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
Again, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but a collection of some of the more… interesting improprieties the White House and it’s history of presidents has gifted us with. A cursory look through the tomes of time will reveal even more. Who ever said politics was dull?