I live in Missouri and have since 1993. Our family survived the giant flooding of the St. Louis area back then as we chose a suburb on high ground that wasn't affected too much by that natural disaster. I bring that up as an introduction to a political disaster that has hit Missouri this week, […]
I live in Missouri and have since 1993. Our family survived the giant flooding of the St. Louis area back then as we chose a suburb on high ground that wasn't affected too much by that natural disaster. I bring that up as an introduction to a political disaster that has hit Missouri this week, brought about by one person's hugely bad choice.
I woke up on Wednesday morning, as I typically do, and proceeded to make the morning coffee, turning on the kitchen radio and listening to the news. First up was ABC Radio News, at the top of the hour, 7:00 am. What then followed almost caused me to do a spit-take of my first sip of coffee, at 7:05, with the Missourinet news report. It was reported that the state's governor,Eric Greitens, who had campaigned as a conservative republican, a family man, a US navy seal, had had an affair right before he ran for the governorship and that blackmail was involved. Missourinet went on to report that St. Louis's CBS tv affliate station KMOV was reporting this, that the station had done a special investigative report all about this breaking news. I quickly went over to the computer and searched for KMOV and found their report, with lurid details about the governor's tawdry affair with his hair stylist, and how he supposedly had blackmailed her into never revealing this affair. KMOV had interviewed the hair stylist's former husband who had provided details about his then-wife's blackmail threat. I was shocked by this news and quickly texted my husband about it all as he had already gone into work that morning and had missed this news story. I then texted our kids about it and one of them came up with the quip that I used for my blog's title; the hair stylist's husband's commentary for KMOV mentioned some strange methods one would use in an affair, which made all of us think of that 50 Shades movie and book.
Since all of that news came out, the governor's office has issued several statements. First, Mrs. Greitens and the governor acknowledged that their marriage went through a rough patch prior to the campaign, that they have healed their marriage and Mrs. Greitens has forgiven her husband. Mrs. Greitens also issued a statement, really a warning of sorts, for the gossip mongers to leave her and their two young sons alone. The governor's latest statement is that while he did have the affair, the story about blackmailing the other woman is untrue.
One of my favorite radio podcasts, The Three Martini Lunch, discussed this story. I had to agree with podcast hosts Jim Geraghty and Greg Corombos that the audio of the blackmailed woman, given to KMOV by the woman's now ex-husband certainly sounds authentic-her choking voice trying to confess to her husband about the affair is heart-breaking as she mentions the blackmailing.
At all of this news that hit Missourians this week, I have some advice. If you are ever, ever thinking about running for a public office, please don't do so if you have made lousy choices in life. Breaking your marriage vows being an example of a lousy choice. If you haven't made such a lousy choice and want to run for public office, consider some safeguards in your public life: don't go to a hair stylist if your're a guy, just go to the nearby neighborhood barber shop. Also, adopting Vice President Pence's policy of not eating dinner alone with a female isn't a bad policy, or if you have to, make sure the wife is with you! Voters don't want to find out after they've voted for you that you are an idiot!!
From listening to another podcast during Christmas break, Need to Know, hosted by Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger, I discovered a possible solution for Governor Greitens. In 1961, in Great Britain, the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, had an affair with a 19 year old model. In March 0f 1963, this information was leaked to the British press and Profumo, at first, denied all of the accusations. (If you have watched Netflix's original series, The Crown, Season 2 mentions this a bit.) A few weeks after making his denial speech to the House of Commons, Profumo confessed and admitted to the affair. What also made this such a scandal is that the model in the affair, Christy Keeler, was also fooling around with a Soviet naval attache who was stationed in London, and that there may have been a security risk; British government info Profumo may have blabbed about to Keeler getting relayed to the Soviet guy. Profumo resigned and here's the rest of the story I learned from the podcast. Instead of trying to rally his political career, Profumo accepted that his political life was over, and turned to a quieter pursuit,working as a volunteer for a charity based in the East End of London.( If any of you are fans of Call the Midwife, it is set in the East End of London.) He basically disappeared into that life, atoning for what he had done and worked at that charity for 40 years as a volunteer.
My advice to Governor Greitens, is to finish out your term as governor, if you're not forced out. Bow out of a political life and find a charity to support quietly as a volunteer, as Profumo did. When Profumo passed away at the age of 91, he was surrounded by his wife and children, showing that forgiveness did indeed happen for that family and I do truly hope it can happen for Missouri's govenor and his family.
Here's to hoping Missourians won't be hit with a news story such as this in the weeks to come. Hopeful that we can get to Spring safely and dodging of the flu and bad weather will be all that we in the Show-Me state will have to contend with!