Radio Times

Political scandals and comebacks

July 11, 2013

Guests: John Halpin and Julian Zelizer

Who would have thought Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner could make political comebacks after resigning from office in disgrace? Spitzer was caught in a sex scandal involving prostitutes. Weiner sent a suggestive photograph of himself through his public twitter account. Now both of them have asked for forgiveness and are running for office in New York City. Then there’s Mark Sanford who resigned as Governor of South Carolina after admitting to using state money to conduct an affair with an Argentinean woman. Voters elected him to the U.S. Congress in a special election in May. Why do some politicians get a second chance after they disappoint their constituents by behaving badly? And why do some think that an apology is enough to restore the voters’ trust? We’ll turn to two political scientists for the answers to these questions and more. JOHN HALPIN is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and JULIAN ZELIZER is professor of history and public affairs at Princeton.

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