Before launching into the new Vitter details, if you need a quick refresher, check out Your Right Hand Thief’s post The Vitter Affair: As It Stands Now from Monday. That said, Senator Vitter finally came out of hiding on Monday, holding a brief press conference in Metairie, LA with his wife, Wendy. He apologized again for the DC affair and said he’d like to go back to work now, but denied having slept with any prostitutes in New Orleans. Don’t you love it? Leading Louisiana Republicans, several prostitutes, and even his own staffers say Vitter was a client of the Canal St. brothel. We know he had that habit elsewhere (in DC), and we know he denied hiring one prostitute while he was frequenting another – yet he still has the cahones to stand up there and deny it! Your Right Hand Thief sums it up well: “This statement virtually guarantees that Vitter will be forced to resign sometime this year, probably in weeks, as more disclosures occur and corroborative evidence is unveiled. He can't lie his way out of this.” (H/T to NOLA-dishu for some of these links.)
Generating more headlines was his wife’s statement. “Like all marriages, ours is not perfect. None of us are. But we choose to work together as a family. When David and I dealt with this privately years ago, I forgave David. I made the decision to love him and to recommit to our marriage. To forgive is not always the easy choice, but it was and is the right choice for me. David is my best friend.”
There are two responses to Mrs. Vitter. The first is, if this is really such a private matter, why is he standing in front of the cameras denying it? If it’s a private matter, why say anything publicly at all other then, “It’s a private matter”? Aren’t you just inviting more scrutiny this way? The Politico worded the second response better than I ever could. “Whether it's in the halls of the United States Capitol, on the presidential campaign trail, on the basketball court or on HBO's ‘The Sopranos,’ the story of women sucking it up and trudging on with their married lives is an ancient one. But when the cheater in question has ‘family values’ as his battle cry, the ensuing political carnage is all the bloodier. The country will forgive a hustler before a hypocrite.”
Moldy City is wondering how Vitter managed to afford the New Orleans prostitues on a state representative’s salary. “Even if it turns out that visits to the Canal Street Brothel, paid trysts away from the brothel and visits to the D.C. Madam would not have put a strain on his finances, there are other reasons to question whether somebody else paid for Vitter's activities. Both Jim Letten and (Maier's attorney) Vinny Mosca say that they don't recall Vitter's name from lists of Maier's clients... (and) Stephanie Grace's column in today's Picayune doesn't make Wendy Vitter seem like a wife who would fail to notice money missing from the family checking account. It's entirely reasonable to question whether Vitter broke any laws governing gifts from lobbyists.” To be fair, Moldy City is using only logic; there’s no actual evidence to suggest Vitter broke lobbying laws. But would it come as any surprise if he did? If a man is willing to break the law and pay for sex, is it really much of a leap to break another law and accept such a gift from a lobbyist or supporter?
Finally, a number of Republican activist groups have called for Vitter’s resignation, including the University of New Orleans (UNO) College Republicans. And yet, I’m thoroughly disgusted by the UNO CR’s press release. While the students do accuse Vitter of breaking promises, they are more concerned with partisan politics than they are hypocrisy and honor. “By deciding to hold a press conference at 5 pm Monday afternoon, just as Bobby Jindal’s plane is taxing into Armstrong Airport, David Vitter has once more shown a blatant disregard for the political position of Louisiana Republican Party. It is clear that Senator Vitter cares little for his fellow Republicans in Louisiana. After a week of silence, Vitter choose the day, almost to the hour, where all eyes were to be on Bobby Jindal and his vision for a better Louisiana.” You read right – forget the illegal paying for sex, forget the hypocrisy of the man’s moral grandstanding, and forget the ongoing lies; how dare he upstage our favorite politican! THIS is what he must resign for, scheduling his press conference at a bad time! Sheesh, you kids are as bad as he is. And on a similar note, Vitter will not be helping Republican candidates campaign this fall. I assume that includes Rep. Jindal's Gubernatorial campaign.
On to a lighter note. Facts aside, Vitter jokes abound. Nola Blogger did Senator Vitter a favor and wrote him a list of excuses to use. My own two favorites: Number ten, even though I like Ted Kennedy, “I was just looking for Ted Kennedy -- he's at the brothel every day.” And number three, “I oppose gay marriage, not straight married guys visiting whorehouses. I never said I opposed that. I am not a hypocrite.” John Maginnis at Bayou Buzz also offers a… um… “clever” defense for Vitter: “Accusations that he is a hypocrite, given his past ringing defense of traditional marriage, are unfair, since married men going to prostitutes is as traditional as the institution itself.”
Finally, just to make sure you get your Vitter Diaper fetish kick, here’s Jay Leno.