Rep. Vance McAllister, (R-LA) waits to be sworn in at the Capitol in Washington on Nov. 21, 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

‘Kissing Congressman’ latest to lean on wife

For a guy who’s only been in Congress for 10 months, Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) has had quite a career on Capitol Hill.
Last November, the first-time candidate stunned the Louisiana GOP establishment by winning a congressional election. Four months after taking office, McAllister was humiliated by a video showing him kissing an aide – who was not his wife. Five months after taking office, the congressman announced he would step down at the end of his term.
Then, just to make things extra interesting, the conservative Republican reversed course again, announced he’d changed his mind, and launched a campaign for a second term after all.
Now, as Benjy Sarlin reports, the “Kissing Congressman” is launching a campaign ad featuring the support of McAllister’s wife, Kelly.
“I’m lucky to have been blessed with a great family and a wonderful Christian wife,” the congressman says in the ad.
“And I’m blessed to have a husband who owns up to his mistakes, never gives up, always fighting for the good people of Louisiana,” his wife responds.
At one point, the camera cuts to a shot of the two holding hands with Mrs. McAllister’s engagement ring prominently visible. At the end, it fades into footage of the congressman smiling with his children outside.
There are a handful of questions that come to mind. Will Louisiana voters find an ad like this compelling? Are the visuals over the top? What will McAllister’s Republican challengers say?
And while those angles certainly matter, the foremost question on my mind is this: why do cheating political husbands keep asking their wives to do stuff like this?
When Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) was caught having hired prostitutes, he made a public statement – alongside his wife. When then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) was caught in a similar situation, he made a public statement – alongside his wife. When then-Gov. Jim McGreevey (D-N.J.) announced that he’s gay, he made a public statement – alongside his then wife. When Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) online activities came to light, he made a public statement – alongside his wife. When then-Sen. Larry Craig’s (R-Idaho) bathroom controversy became national news, he made a public statement – alongside his wife.
And now here’s Vance McAllister going just a little further, not only appearing alongside his wife in a campaign commercial, but relying on her testimonial to try to persuade voters.
These guys couldn’t leave their wives out of the spotlight?


'Kissing Congressman' latest to lean on wife