Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Re Nevada Senator Ensign: "There is nothing wrong with holding yourself to high standard, even if you fail."

"There is nothing wrong with holding yourself to high standard, even if you fail."

Well, maybe not, but if you can't meet your own standards, you should probably quit demanding that others meet your standards.


Questions Surround GOP Senator's Affair
(June 18, 2009)

Sen. John Ensign has been quick to describe his dalliance with an aide in brief and simple terms... No questions will be answered, the married Nevada Republican said in his brief admission of infidelity.

But the first public statement from the woman once involved with the 51-year-old rising political star suggests more is brewing behind Ensign's neat account.

Cindy Hampton and her husband, a couple Ensign has described as "close friends," issued sharp remarks Wednesday through an attorney.

"It is unfortunate the senator chose to air this very personal matter, especially after the Hamptons did everything possible to keep this matter private," Las Vegas lawyer Daniel Albregts said in the statement. "It is equally unfortunate that he did so without concern for the effect such an announcement would have on the Hampton family. In time the Hamptons will be ready and willing to tell their side of the story."

...An Associated Press review of federal records showed that around the time of the affair, Cindy Hampton, 46, received a promotion and a pay raise at one political entity controlled by Ensign and a pay raise at a second. Her husband, Doug, was an employee in Ensign's Senate office, and a golfing buddy.

Since Ensign admitted the affair Tuesday at a hastily arranged news briefing in Las Vegas, he and his staff have refused to comment. It remains unclear what prompted the unexpected announcement.

The disclosure resurrected questions about a two-week period in 2002 when Ensign abruptly dropped from public view. A person familiar with that episode, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the senator told a close associate the absence followed an earlier affair...


Sen. Ensign's admission blurs conservative image
June 17, 2009

For much of his public career, Sen. John Ensign has appeared a model of the religious right. By this week, he had become just another politician diminished by scandal.

Rattled, humbled and alone at the podium, Ensign acknowledged to reporters an extramarital affair, the sort of moral failing he's criticized in the past.

The Nevada Republican once called on President Bill Clinton to resign, declaring "the truth must come out." In October 2007, he was sharply critical of former Sen. Larry Craig, of Idaho, calling the Republican's arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting "embarrassing for the Senate."

His own admission Tuesday came at a time when the two-term Nevada Republican was building his national profile and assuming leadership in his party. He had recently traveled to Iowa, fueling speculation about his White House ambitions.

...On Wednesday, he resigned from the policy committee.

For Nevadans, he was known as a polished pro-business Republican and well-spoken ally of the state's religious conservatives. He was a member of Promise Keepers, a men's Christian group that espoused devotion to family and marriage...

Ensign was adopted at age 15 by his mother's second husband, a Las Vegas casino mogul. He went on to veterinary school, ran an animal clinic and worked the family business as a casino executive before entering politics.

Ensign's political life was entwined with his religious beliefs. Once in Washington, he lived for a time with other Christian lawmakers who organized prayer breakfasts and Bible study. When in Las Vegas, he continued to attend an Evangelical church in Las Vegas with his wife, Darlene, who did not move to Washington with him.

Ensign has opposed abortion and gay marriage and backed school vouchers.

"He's been a very reliable ally and outspoken on marriage issues, on life issues," said Richard Ziser, a leading religious conservative in the state. "His religious beliefs were a very high identifier with conservatives."...

"Some will be more forgiving than others, of course," he said. "But I think his apology will be viewed as sincere. There is nothing wrong with holding yourself to high standard, even if you fail."

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