15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People

Ephraim Obare
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Throughout American history, politicians have been known to get into some pretty scandalous situations. From illicit affairs and tax fraud to bribery and corruption, it’s no surprise that the public has become jaded when it comes to trusting their elected officials. However, despite these scandals, many of these politicians still maintained strong popularity among Americans.

From Bill Clinton’s infamous impeachment trial to Donald Trump’s numerous legal issues throughout his presidency, here are 15 U.S. politicians who had huge scandals but were still loved by the American people.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Naval History and Heritage Command via Wikimedia Commons

Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of the most beloved presidents in American history, even though he had a huge scandal during his presidency. Roosevelt managed to maintain his popularity despite rumors and speculation about his extramarital affairs. This was due to his effective leadership during the Great Depression.

The American people loved him for his progressive policies and support for New Deal programs. His efforts to get America out of the Great Depression were ultimately successful, and he is remembered as one of the best presidents ever.

Bill Clinton

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Own work via Wikimedia Commons

Despite his scandalous affair with Monica Lewinsky and subsequent impeachment trial in 1998, Bill Clinton’s popularity increased due to his policies, and he was still seen as a great leader of the United States.

He focused heavily on creating jobs and increasing economic growth, which earned him admiration from many Americans regardless of their party affiliation.

Ted Kennedy

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
United States Senate via Wikimedia Commons

Ted Kennedy was one of the most influential U.S. politicians, serving as a Senator for Massachusetts. However, he was also involved in several scandals throughout his career, including the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident, which left a young woman dead.

Despite this, Kennedy was still loved by many Americans due to his commitment to social justice and advocacy for civil rights. He will always be remembered as an influential politician who touched the hearts of millions of Americans during his life.

Donald J. Trump

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian via Wikimedia Commons

Donald J. Trump is one of the most controversial politicians in the United States. Despite a long list of scandals, from his alleged involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential Election to his questionable handling of the coronavirus pandemic, tax fraud, and hoarding of confidential country documents, he has been able to maintain a passionate base of supporters across America.

His ability to speak directly to the American people with unfiltered messages on social media and during rallies has enabled him to retain his power and popularity even after numerous scandals.

Marion Barry

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Marion Barry Vincent Gray via Wikimedia Commons

Marion Barry was a beloved American politician who served as mayor of Washington, D.C., and even spent four terms in office. However, he became embroiled in a major scandal when he was arrested for possession of crack cocaine in 1990.

Despite this, he was still loved by many Americans and won reelection as mayor two years after his release from prison. His legacy lives on through his work to improve educational opportunities and social services within Washington, D.C.’s impoverished communities.

Newt Gingrich

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Ali Shaker/VOA via Wikimedia Commons

Newt Gingrich was the former Speaker of the House and one of America’s most popular politicians during his tenure.

Despite having had a number of scandals in his personal life, such as allegations of adultery and an affair with a congressional staffer, Gingrich still managed to remain popular among the American people.

Mark Sanford

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Own work via Wikimedia Commons

Mark Sanford, the former Governor of South Carolina and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001, is an example of a politician who has had a major scandal but still remains beloved by many Americans. In 2009, Sanford famously disappeared during a secret trip to Argentina with his mistress for six days, leading to much speculation in the media and calls for his resignation.

Despite this controversy, he was re-elected as Governor and is still seen by many as an upstanding public figure and respected political leader.

Jesse Jackson

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Flickr: Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke at the UN via Wikimedia Commons

Jesse Jackson is one of the best-known American politicians. He has had his fair share of scandals but is still widely loved by the American people. In 2001, he was accused of having an extramarital affair and fathering a child out of wedlock. He was also accused of financial improprieties.

Despite this scandal, he was still respected for his work as a civil rights activist and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000. He remained popular among the people for his activism and advocacy for disenfranchised communities.

Chris Christie

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Own work via Wikimedia Commons

Chris Christie, the former Governor of New Jersey, was well-known for his scandalous behavior during his time in office. Despite this, he remained a beloved figure among many Americans due to his charisma and charm.

He was known for being outspoken and often controversial but still managed to remain popular among many of his constituents, who admired him greatly. From the Bridgegate scandal to accepting expensive gifts from donors, Chris Christie has always been a controversial but beloved figure in American politics.

Maxine Waters

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Maxine Waters via canva.com

Maxine Waters is a U.S. politician who had one of the biggest scandals but was still loved by the American people. She was the first African-American woman to chair the powerful Financial Services Committee.

Despite her scandal, she continued to be an advocate for progressive causes, including gender equality, civil rights, and environmental justice. Her unwavering passion for her beliefs has earned her a loyal fan base that remains devoted to her even in light of her scandal.

John Edwards

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Mike Murphy via Wikimedia Commons

John Edwards was a popular U.S. politician. He had a huge scandal involving his extramarital affair, but the American people still loved him despite that.

As an advocate for the poor, he worked hard to make sure those less fortunate got access to health care and education. Despite his scandalous past, he continues to be respected by many in the political world today.

Sarah Palin

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Sarah Palin in Savannah via Wikimedia Commons

Sarah Palin was the former Governor of Alaska and the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 2008. Despite being embroiled in several major scandals, including using state funds for personal gain and fabricating stories to benefit her political agenda, she remains one of the most beloved politicians among many Americans.

Her charismatic personality and strong stances on certain issues have resonated with them over the years, making her a powerful force despite the controversies that have surrounded her.

Alcee Hastings

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Annual Session 2004 via Wikimedia Commons

Alcee Hastings was an African-American politician who served as a representative for Florida in the United States House of Representatives. He was investigated and impeached on bribery charges in 1989.

However, he evaded conviction and remained in office due to his immense popularity among constituents. His support from the local community remained strong even after this scandal broke out, and he enjoyed a successful career as a prominent figure in politics until his death in 2021.

Bob Filner

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Ruocco Park Groundbreaking via Wikimedia Commons

Bob Filner is a former U.S. politician who was known for having one of the biggest scandals in American politics. Despite being involved in multiple controversies, he still had a large base of supporters who loved him and showed up to his rallies.

His career was cut short by allegations against him of sexual harassment and assault, yet many people still believed in him and acknowledged that he was innocent.

David Vitter

15 U.S Politicians That Had Huge Scandals but Were Still Loved by the American People
Republican Party of Shelby County via Wikimedia Commons

David Vitter is a U.S. politician who was involved in a scandalous affair but still managed to remain popular with the American people. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Louisiana. In 2007, it was revealed that he had been involved in a prostitution scandal, admitting that he had committed a “very serious sin.”

Despite the scandal, he remained popular with many Americans and even won re-election in 2010 with 57 percent of the vote. Even after leaving office, his popularity has not waned among those who supported him throughout his career.

Sources: 

  • Britannica – 9 American Political Scandals 
  • PBS – When power corrupts: 16 of the biggest political scandals of the last 50 years
  • TIMERepublican David Vitter Battles Prostitution Scandal in the Bayou
  • LA TimesJury finds ex-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner harassed female worker but awards no damages
  • US SenateImpeachment Trial of Judge Alcee L. Hastings, 1989
  • The GuardianPalin hit with new claims of ethics violations
  • abc NEWS – John Edwards and the Mistress: A Breakdown of One of America’s Most Sensational Scandals
  • Judicial WatchMaxine Waters Scandal Exposed
  • NY Times – George Washington: The Bridge Scandal, Explained
  • NY Times – Rev Jesse Jackson Acknowledges Fathering Child Out of Wedlock
  • WikipediaMark Sanford extramarital affair
  • RollingstoneNewt and Callista’s Affair ‘Was Common Knowledge’ on the Hill
  • NY PostThe many loves of FDR
  • Wikipedia – Impeachment of Bill Clinton

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Author

  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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