Vitty-cent's on top by 10 over Melancon in early polling.
T-P columnist James Gill recently advised Vitter opponents to not discuss the whoremongering. We've had our fun, he says. It's yesterday's news. Then he writes:
Vitter more or less admitted that he had beguiled his time in Washington with call girls when he admitted a "serious sin" in 2007.
Vitter was a very willing buyer, and the high-end girls who worked for the D.C. madam evidently had their heads screwed on all right.
Eh... You can read the links at the end of this post on Vitty's favorite DC working girl, and make your own assessment about the quality of her head-screwedness. The point I will make is that sex with subordinates is by no means yesterday's news. For example, the Letterman fiasco has been widely publicized, along with these other stories from the political sphere:
A) The NYT had a big story on Senator John Ensign's extra-marital affair with a campaign aide. Sen. Tom Coburn worked damage control, and discussed a "large financial settlement" with the aide and her husband.
B) The National Enquirer is reporting that Elizabeth Edwards is threatening to divorce former Presidential candidate John Edwards, after learning of allegations that he cheated on her with yet another woman, in addition to Rielle Hunter. Hunter of course, did some paid video work for the Edwards campaign. Edwards had an affair with her (which yielded a child) while telling the media how important issues like New Orleans and marital fidelity were to him.
C) Cynthia Tucker compares the Ensign and Edwards affairs to the David Letterman mess, and notes how elaborate cover-ups have led to the following problems:
[A]s usual, the cover-up may bring at least as much damage as the original sin.
Edwards is the subject of a grand jury investigation and a tell-all book.
As for Ensign, The New York Times has a detailed report this morning about the lengths to which he went to seek financial assistance for his lover’s husband (who also happened to be a campaign aide.)
What's this got to do with Vitter? Well, more than you might think. According to David Corn's 2007 reporting, one of Vitty's favorite paid escorts was a congressional staffer who worked on one of Vitter's committees. Corn didn't name the working girl, but it's pretty clear that it's Paula Neble. I'm unable to confirm that for 100% certain, and Vitter sure as hell won't say boo, but that's what I think based on my readings.
So: in D.C., Vitter enjoyed paid sex with a Congressional staffer that worked on one of his committees. We can't know if he recognized this girl when she saw him after hours. I'd bet on it, though. Pols are pretty good at facial recognition. Who knows, perhaps Vitty preferred this girl's services precisely because he knew she was his (indirect) subordinate. Clearly, though, these sorts of affairs between powerful men and their workplace subordinates are anything but yesterday's news.