Presidential Scandals. History Of Scandals In The White House

1026 words - 4 pages

The people of the United States have long enjoyed uncovering the dirty little secrets of the men they put in power. Alleged and real scandals of the presidency seem to provide the American public with a kind of entertainment they cannot receive from television. Scandals of the U.S. presidency have been entertaining the country for nearly as long as we have had presidents in the United States. Men in their position of power tend to use their authority to better their own life in many ways. Whether it is to profit from some form of embezzlement or just to have a fling with their secretary their always pushing their boundaries as Commander and Chief.Without contest the most popular scandals of the presidency have been that of the U.S. President's sex scandals. These stories often tend to be just common rumor, but more often then not these rumors carry some basis in reality. Such rumors go as far back as our second president John Adams. During his reelection in the campaign of 1800, opponents of the former president accused him of employing his vice-presidential candidate, Charles C. Pinckney, as a pimp. Adams had reportedly sent Pinckney to England to "procure four pretty girls as mistresses, a pair for each of the elderly gentleman." When President Adams received word of the rumor, he amusingly wrote a letter to a friend that "I do declare upon my honor, if this be true, General Pinckney has kept them all for himself and cheated me out of my two." Adams did lose the election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson, but the loss was not due to the allegations against him. It was not long after Jefferson obtained the presidency that he was involved in a scandal of his very own. Rumors were published in 1802 by a political rival of Jefferson that he had an affair with one of his slaves Sally Hemings. The editorial in the Boston Gazette read:"Thou Sally, thou my house shall keep,My widower's tears shall dry!My virgin daughters - see! They weep-Their mother's place supply.Oh Sally Hearken to my vows!Yield up the sooty charms -My best beloved! My more than spouse,Oh! Take me to they arms."This, however, was not Jefferson's only "relationship" with a mistress. While serving as a diplomat in Paris, Jefferson had carried on two illicit affairs with different married women. It was even said by the President of Yale University that Jefferson, "would make our wives and daughters the victims of legalized prostitution." Jefferson's behavior frequently tarnished his reputation as a gentleman; however, these accusations did not destroy his political career in the least.Many more scandalous accusations surfaced through the years, but none carried much truth to them until Grover Cleveland ran for office in 1884. Ten years prior to his presidency Maria Halpin claimed he was the father of her illegitimate son. Cleveland never denounced the allegations and adopted the child soon after. Buffalo newspapers soon covered the story to which Cleveland reluctantly...

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