July 17, 2007 — -- The promise to stand by her husband "for better or for worse" was put to the test Monday, and Wendy Vitter did just that.
The wife of conservative Sen. David Vitter, R-La., defended her husband Monday after his name appeared on the D.C. Madam's call list.
"David is my best friend," Vitter said at a press conference last week. "Some people said to me they wouldn't want to be in my shoes. I stand before you to say I am proud to be Wendy Vitter."
She went on to say that privately she has forgiven her husband and that she has every intention of recommitting to their marriage.
"To forgive is not only always the easy choice, but it was the right choice for me," Wendy said.
The Alabama senator has spent his political career defending the sanctity of marriage.
"Marriage is truly the most fundamental social institution in human history," Vitter said on Capitol Hill in June 2006.
One year later, Vitter is still defending the institution of marriage, only this time it's his own, offering apologies "to all that [he has] let down."
Wendy Vitter is not the first spouse to defend her marriage to a less-than-faithful politician.
The most high-profile showing of spousal support may have been by current candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who in 1992 appeared on CBS's "60 Minutes" to defend her role in her marriage to presidential candidate Bill Clinton.
"I'm not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man," Clinton said, perhaps sparing her husband of any additional criticism from the press.
Despite the brave face, spouses don't always come to the rescue. After former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey announced to the world that he was gay, his estranged wife confessed to Diane Sawyer that the debacle had caused her immense emotional strain.
"You know, I had it all," Dina McGreevey told Sawyer. "I thought it was the American dream, and it turned out to be a nightmare."
And with infidelity, multiple marriages and divorces continually popping up in political conversations, candidates can only hope voters are as forgiving as their spouses appear.