Before Rob Ford: 15 Politicians Who Embarrassed Their Constituents With Bad Behavior
By Mack Rawden
Toronto mayor Rob Ford continued his run of bafoonish behavior yesterday, barreling into a petite councilwoman in her mid-sixties like an out of control caribou. Fortunately, the nice woman was able to get up and continue with the meeting, but the blunder was just the latest in a long series of outlandish missteps that have seen the politician smoke crack, make a direct reference to performing oral sex on his wife, threaten lawsuits and show up to a football game despite the team publically asking him to stay away.
Itís the type of scandal you would never expect from someone who has accrued such power, but yet, like clockwork, every year features at least a few politicians behaving like supporting characters in a Todd Phillips movie. Itís not a new phenomenon either. You can circle back to pretty much any point in human history in which people were keeping detailed records and youíll find drunkenness, orgies, treason, faked deaths and a wide variety of other unwholesome and frankly, kind of amusing activities.
So, in honor of Mayor Ford, here are fifteen politicians who came before him that couldnít keep their shit together either.
Andrew JacksonAt various points during Jacksonís life, he was a Congressman, a Senator, a President, a General in the Tennessee militia/ United States Army, a judge and a planter. He was a gruff, no-nonsense character, and he wasnít a big fan of taking shit from anyone. He threatened and feuded with numerous fellow politicians who saw the world in different ways, even expressing a desire to murder his own Vice President John C Calhoun (somewhat warranted because of this) while the two were in office together. Calhoun later resigned after he was essentially stripped of any influence he had, but his fate was nothing compared to that of Charles Dickinson.
In between his time in time as a Senator and time as President, Jackson feuded with Dickinson over a horserace bet and an insult the latter reportedly hurled at the formerís wife. After a series of letters to the paper calling the other out, Jackson proposed a duel. Instead of shooting immediately, the politician let his rival fire first. The bullet lodged just a few inches from Jacksonís heart. He calmed himself, wiped off the blood, slowly stared at Dickinson and fired one shot in steely cold blood that mowed down his foe. Many who witnessed the event were outraged at Jacksonís slow and methodical kill, and people were scared shitless of him for the rest of their lives.