Sunday, June 12, 2011

POLITICS AND PLEASURE

When powers are not enough

They are steadfast, powerful and headstrong and as prominent political figures who wear double-breasted suits and oh yes, national pride, they seemed unbending and focus.

It is easy to think that under any circumstances these men can never afford to entertain such idiot misconduct only vagabond people can do nor taint their reputation with something not associated with politics or laws or power. 

But several weeks ago, the world of politics was stirred with issues that has nothing to do with the financial crisis and oil price hike in the world market. And the only question that submerge in people's minds: Why powerful men can be easily duped by their weakness in earthly affairs?

From King Edward VIII of England to Lord Palumbo to Edward Kennedy to Bill Clinton, it seems powerful men are "weak" when it comes to, well, women. This prickly issue about "temptations" brought up again with the latest batch of “high-profile” men accused of misconduct.

REP. ANTHONY WEINER
He is powerful, he is famous, he is a flamboyant democrat who represented the state of New York to the U.S Congress, he seemed to be the most ideal guy who personifies duty and decency but when the unthinkable misconduct online revealed in public, he looked like a cheap bloke.

For the past weeks, Weiner was embroiled in a controversy of cyberspace escapade where he apparently sent lewd photos of him via his Twitter account to at least six women. Pressured by the threat that several more  scandalous photos will be released if he won't admit his actions, Weiner was forced to accept his disgraceful wrongdoing. But he maintained he was not unfaithful and the only crime he committed was just sent photos to several women whom he didn’t actually meet. But the conservatives called him to resign citing his indecent behavior as irresponsible and highly undignified for a member of the US congress.

The controversy badly damaged his political career forever.  Will he be able to raise his head from the mud and reconstruct his jilted image?

Weiner’s wife is Huma Abedin, a close friend and Deputy Chief of Staff of US secretary of State, Hillary Clinton where he met at the presidential campaign trail of Clinton in 2008, he married Abedin two years later (2010) in Long Island officiated by former US President Bill Clinton. Abedin is reportedly pregnant with their first child. Update: As of June 18, 2011 RepresentativeWeiner finally resigned from congress.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
A body building champion from Austria who came to dominate the landscape of action movies in later years, Schwarzenegger looked like a complete superhero.  For more than twenty years, he is living in affluence partly due to his high profile marriage to one of the Kennedys scions, Maria Kennedy Shriver, a niece to former US President, John F. Kennedy. Shriver is the only daughter of Eunice Kennedy and Sergent Shriver, a prominent US politician who was a US Vice presidentiable in 1972. Shriver worked as a broadcast journalist for most of her life but when her husband won the California Gobernatorial seat, she resigned, she is also a successful and best-selling author. She seemed a perfect girl every man dreamed of to be with.

Who would ever imagine her husband will still cheat? He is such a lucky bloke to be included in America’s royal family, the Kennedys, and seemed relaxing in privileged circumstances with a marriage assumed by everybody as close to perfection.

But the world was shocked when in May 8, 2011, their separation was announced and the cheating news soon followed highlighted with the revelation that Schwarzenegger had a child with his long-serving house staff. What could be more painful to Maria is the fact that her husband had been unfaithful to her since the 90s. Now the couple, who had four children, is reportedly sought top divorce lawyers, to end their miseries. What a sad fact. Life, after all, is not a fairytale.

JOHN EDWARDS
He is a democrat Senator from North Carolina and competed against Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as a Democrat standard bearer during the 2008 Presidential nomination. Edwards, a lawyer by profession, also run for Vice President in 2004 but lost to Dick Cheney. He married Elizabeth Anania, a Lawyer, best-selling author and a health care activist, in 1977, and had four children together. Anania was diagnosed of breast cancer in 2004 and died in December 2010.

To the outside world their marriage was an ideal one, she was his chief advisor and staunchest supporter, but in 2008 while campaigning for his Presidential nomination, news about his extra marital affair with his aide, Rielle Hunter, was leaked, it was also reported that he had a child with Hunter. Edwards vehemently denied the issue but in January 2010 he finally admitted it. His wife, who was gravely ill with breast cancer, sought legal separation and intended to file for divorce after one year, but she did not live long to see herself undergo a stressful divorce proceedings, she died eleven months later, on December 7, 2010.

In June 6, 2011, the North Carolina grand jury indicted Edwards on six felony charges including the mismanagement of his campaign fund in 2008 which reportedly used to cover-up his affair with Hunter. Violation of Campaign Laws (misused and false declaration of campaign funds amount) is a criminal offence in the US and if proven guilty, the accused could face 30 years imprisonment and a fine of more or less $1 million. John Edwards, however, maintained he is not guilty of any wrongdoing.

DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN

Strass-Kahn is reportedly the leading Presidential contender in France. He is the chairman of International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2007 until his resignation in May 2011, he is currently accused of sexually assaulting one female hotel attendant in New York. Personally, I pitied this old man and I am not sure if his case was treated fairly, but it was something of a huge shame (which I think he didn't deserve, he is still a human being after all, worthy to be respected) when he was paraded handcuffed and unshaven before the US Media. 

Several news report speculated that the timing of his arrest was something controversial, the circumstances surrounding the accusation were more than unusual, for one, this guy is extremely popular, and said to be running for president in France comes 2012 against the now unpopular incumbent French President, Nicholas Sarcozy. 

There are commentators who viewed the circumstances and timing of the arrest as more like a conspiracy theory. The IMF has been the target of controversies in the past years because of its uncomfortable policies towards debt especially among third world countries and that global leaders are thinking to reassess the basic framework of world financial system and most of them want to organize a summit to reform the international financial rules of IMF. The world leaders, one of them is Sarcozy, found an excuse to grill Strauss-Khan about IMF's lapses because of his misconduct and his supposed abuse of power.

But amidst the controversy, Strauss-Khan only owned a liaison with one woman and denied other accusations, he also issued an apology to the people he had wronged especially to his wife, Anne Sinclair, who is a TV personality in France. And updates on him revealed that he is still the number one candidate favoured to win the French presidency.

Sources: TIME magazine, New York Post and Yahoo news

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