June 26, 2009— -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is the latest member of the ever-growing club of politicians who have strayed from their wives, as well as the latest in the ever-growing list of politicians who were indignant over President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky and demanded he either resign or be impeached.
In 1998, Sanford was a Republican congressman from South Carolina when he demanded "moral clarity" from Clinton and called on him to resign. "Very damaging stuff. This one's pretty cut and dried," Sanford told The Post and Courier in September 1998. "I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally [to resign]." So far, Sanford has not indicated that he has any plans to resign as governor.
Sanford is not alone in having his actions contrast with his outrage over Clinton's actions.
Former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig
Craig on Clinton: Asked by the late Tim Russert on a Jan. 24, 1999, episode of "Meet the Press" whether he thought Clinton should resign, Craig, R-Idaho, did not hesitate to speak his mind. "He should resign. He should've resigned months ago, but he will never resign. He doesn't respect the presidency," said Craig.
In August 2007, Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct stemming from an arrest in a men's restroom at a Minneapolis-St. Paul airport for soliciting sex in June. He later held a news conference in August to say, "Let me be clear. I am not gay. I never have been gay." Craig never resigned his seat, but declined to seek re-election in 2008.
Former Democratic Presidential Candidate John Edwards
Edwards on Clinton: Edwards, a North Carolina Democratic congressman during the 1999 impeachment trial, said on the House floor that Clinton's affair with Lewinsky showed "a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen."
In an August 2008 interview with ABC News, Edwards admitted to repeatedly lying during the campaign for president about having an affair with Rielle Hunter, a video producer who worked for Edwards' campaign, while his wife was battling terminal cancer.
Former Louisiana Rep. Robert Livingston
Livingston on Clinton: "You, sir, may resign your post," said Livingston, R-La., who was poised to take over as House speaker.
On the morning that the House was scheduled to take an impeachment vote, Livingston shocked his colleagues by announcing that he would resign his seat because he, too, had had an affair. "I must set the example that I hope President Clinton will follow."
Former House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde
Hyde on Clinton: During the impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives, Hyde was the lead prosecutor and one of Clinton's most outspoken critics. Hyde, R-Ill., said the president should be impeached because he "trivializes, ignores and shreds the sanctity of the oath" of office.
During the impeachment proceedings it was revealed that Hyde had cheated on his wife during the 1960s. He dismissed the revelation by saying that it was a "youthful indiscretion." He was 42 at the time of the affair.
Nevada Sen. John Ensign
Ensign on Clinton: Sen. Ensign, R-Nev., criticized Clinton for the strain he put on both his family and his Cabinet, while calling for his resignation. He characterized the scandal as "an embarrassing moment for the country." He added that Clinton "has no credibility left."
At a press conference June 16, the 51-year-old senator admitted to his affair with the wife of a close family friend. A watchdog group has called for an investigation into allegations that he funneled campaign money to his paramour.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
Gingrich on Clinton: Gingrich was speaker of the House at the time and was critical of Clinton during the impeachment hearings.
In 2001, Gingrich, R-Ga., admitted he was having an affair with a young aide during the impeachment proceedings while married to his second wife. Gingrich told right wing Christian leader James Dobson that his fling was different from Clinton's because the president lied about it while under oath.
Former House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay
DeLay on Clinton: DeLay strongly pushed for Clinton's impeachment and even cited material that was not released to the public at the time of the proceedings, to further public support for the impeachment.
In his 2007 memoirs, DeLay, R-Texas, revealed a secret: he had had an extramarital affair that pre-dated Clinton's impeachment. He saw no hypocrisy, however. "I was no longer committing adultery by that time, the impeachment trial. There's a big difference," DeLay wrote in his book "No Retreat, No Surrender."