Yesterday Kissing Congressman Vance McAllister announced he would not seek re-election. Two weeks ago, video cameras caught the married-with-five-children Congressman kissing a staff member in an office hallway. No one knows who leaked that video to the press, but it seems to have ended McAllister’s political career.

McAllister had won his seat on a platform of family values and Christianity. As shown above, McAllister also enjoyed the support of Duck Dynasty stars. But after the kissing became public, party leaders called for McAllister to resign. For the last two weeks, McAllister stayed out of sight, even missing important votes in Congress. Eventually he decided to follow the advice and not pursue re-election.

The McAllister case brings to mind the Craigslist Congressman, Chris Lee. Married with a child, Lee posted shirtless pictures of himself on Craigslist looking for sexual partners. When a potential partner discovered who he really was, she sent his photo and texts to the gossip website Gawker. When Gawker contacted Lee about the story, he resigned within a matter of hours.

And the Craigslist Congressman brings to mind Rep. Mark Foley, who had the practice of sending salacious e-mails to Congressional pages. When ABC News called Foley to ask about the e-mails, he also resigned within a matter of hours.

One of the most amazing things about politicians willing to risk a sex scandal is how the hard work of getting elected—and the possibility of doing good for the people who voted for you—can evaporate in seconds once voters discover an indiscretion. Was that kiss worth McAllister’s career? Would a rendezvous with a Craigslist partner justify risking one’s seat in Congress? And was the satisfaction from sending salacious messages worth losing an eleven-year Congressional career?

As most politicians know, recovering from a sex scandal is almost impossible. Voters rarely forgive cheaters, and they rarely forgive phonies. Instead of working for the people of Louisiana, McAllister told reporters that now he will be taking “care of my family to repair and strengthen the relationship I damaged.”

Before he entered Congress, one of McAllister’s business interests was promoting wrestling matches. Maybe he can go back to that now that he’s literally kissed his Congressional career good-bye.

Photo Source: Business Insider

Robert Smither, PhD
Author of ten books on psychology, politics, and finance, Bob’s areas of expertise include leadership, organizational politics, and the psychology of political sex scandals.


  1. Sally Peterson says:

    There is NO EXCUSE for bad behavior.

  2. Sally Peterson says:

    Will this smoocher be eligible for Congressional pension & others perks by serving out his term?

    • Robert Smither, PhD says:

      No. Members of Congress need to serve five years to be eligible for pension benefits. McAllister was just elected last November.

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