Before Rob Ford: 15 Politicians Who Embarrassed Their Constituents With Bad Behavior
By Mack Rawden
Marion BarryBy his own later admission, Marion Barry lost almost complete control of his behavior after he was sworn in to serve his third term as Washington DC’s mayor in 1986. A combination of cocaine, alcohol and absolute power had done a number on his personality and motivation, causing him to stumble in most days around noon and accomplish almost nothing during the rest of the day. As rumors of his demons spiraled out of control, the FBI decided to set up a sting operation. They convinced his former mistress to ask him to meet her at a hotel room to smoke crack and have sex. Cameras in the room caught the Mayor lighting up, and they arrested him as he shouted one of the most famous phrases in the history of political scandals.
“Bitch set me up.” In some ways, those four words will always define Barry’s tumultuous career, but in other ways, the politician has actually done a hell of a job rebounding. Following a short prison stint in which he may or may not have received oral sex in the visitors’ room, he got back into politics and shockingly won his old mayorial job back in 1995. To this day, he still serves on the city council and loves to claim he was entrapped by the federal government.