The 10 Most Notorious Presidential Scandals in U.S. History
There’s something about power and success that tends to breed scandal and disaster, especially in the realm of politics. So it would make sense that when most men become President of the United States, there’s almost bound to be a scandal during their time in office. Here’s a look at ten of the most scandalous scandals in the history of the presidency.
10. Grover Cleveland and the Problem Child
Grover Cleveland, the only president to serve two separate terms as President, was known for many things, but a lack of candor was not one of them. And it was this quality that led him to admit during his first campaign in 1884 that he had fathered an illegitimate son with a widow named Maria C. Halpin. Further information was released that Cleveland had been paying child support, and in fact went so far as to put his estranged son—who went by Oscar Folsom Cleveland—in an orphanage when his mother could no longer care for him.
The circumstances revolving around Oscar entering an orphanage involved the fact that Halpin was forced to enter an insane asylum immediately after Oscar’s birth—which raised questions about her trustworthiness and gave Cleveland a slight upper hand in the public debate that inevitably ensued.
One could take the fact that Cleveland made these payments as an act of good will, or a sign of a complacent and uncaring father who wanted nothing to do with his son. However the fact remains that this kind of scandalous behavior in the 1880s was highly frowned upon, and it’s a miracle Cleveland was able to get reelected once the news broke.