The phenomenon of political spouses standing by their scandal-plagued husbands has become such a cliché, it’s even inspired a TV show, The Good Wife. We’ve seen women forgive men for infidelity, patronizing prostitutes, embezzling funds, and sending cringe-worthy texts, among other misbehaviors.
But recently we’ve seen a whole new twist — not only is Maureen McDonnell (wife of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell) standing by her man in his corruption trial, she is letting him blame the whole thing on her. According to McDonnell’s defense, they couldn’t have coordinated any quid pro quo because their marriage was so damaged they didn’t communicate; besides, she solicited gifts from the tobacco supplement magnate because she had a crush on him, not because they hoped to exchange expensive goodies for political favors.
I don’t know what the real story is. It could be an elaborate hoax or a messy public airing of a sour relationship, but it sure is gothic enough to inspire a Tammy Wynette-style country ballad.