Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Awaits Vitter

From today's Political Diary:
The 46-year-old [Senator David Vitter] seemed to be on track after his 2004 election to the U.S. Senate and his shrewd positioning this year as Rudy Giuliani's top Southern supporter. But all that ended last night as Mr. Vitter admitted that he was involved in the so-called "D.C. Madam" prostitution ring scandal. As the phone records of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, alleged owner of the Beltway prostitution service, were posted on the Internet, Mr. Vitter issued a statement acknowledging "a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible.... I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way."

Mr. Vitter doesn't come up for re-election until 2010 and political handicappers say it's likely he can weather the storm given his current 70%-plus approval ratings. But any hope of being a vice presidential pick is gone. His marriage to wife Wendy may also be in a precarious state. Mr. Vitter has acknowledged seeking marriage counseling and Mrs. Vitter is on record in a 2000 interview with Newhouse Newspapers about her attitude toward marital fidelity. When asked if she would be as forgiving as Hillary Clinton, Mrs. Vitter said: "I'm a lot more like Lorena Bobbitt than Hillary. If he does something like that, I'm walking away with one thing, and it's not alimony, trust me." Mrs. Vitter added: "I think fear is a very good motivating factor in a marriage. Don't put fear down."

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