Arnold Schwarzenegger Future in Politics, Hollywood in Balance After Scandal


Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's messy affair with a congressional aide while he was married triggered his second divorce. But he publicly sought forgiveness for his actions and later married the aide, Callista, whom he now credits with his conversion to Catholicism and who stands proudly by his side in his ongoing bid for the presidency.

Former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer, whose visits to prostitutes were exposed in a 2008 federal sting operation, swiftly resigned from office, made amends with his wife, and now hosts his own talk show on CNN.

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, a social conservative who confessed in 2007 to ties to the "D.C. Madam" prostitution ring, apologized for his "sins" but didn't step down. He still holds his job and won a second term in November.

And even former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, whose 1988 presidential bid was derailed by an affair with Donna Rice on the yacht "Monkey Business," remained active in politics years after the scandal broke, serving on President Bill Clinton's bipartisan National Security Commission in 1998 and supporting Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

"Scandals like this hurt people who have built their credibility on being moral, and I don't think that Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever pretended to be a paragon of virtue," said conservative Daily Caller columnist Matt Lewis on ABC News'"Top Line."

Schwarzenegger did say, however, in a 2004 interview on "60 Minutes" that he's a "religious Republican" and goes to church "every Sunday." Perhaps that's one place he'll be spending more time in the days ahead.

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