In June, we tried to figure out why some politicians survive sex scandals and others are undone by them. Chris Lehane argued that novelty is a key factor: Whereas affairs are old hat (“the public almost assumes that politicians” have them), an underwear shot on Twitter was strange new stuff — and ultimately ruinious for Anthony Weiner. As we noted in November, it seems that adultery is the new divorce — the thing that used to be an automatic deal-breaker for a politician but now eminently survivable. Well, sometimes: Didn’t work that way for Herman Cain.
In unrelated news, our colleagues at The Fix have determined that Rick Perry is only the third worst flameout in presidential campaign history. Who else makes the top 10? Read on.
Related: Newt’s ex: He wanted open marriage
Earlier: Political sex scandals: Who survives, who crashes and burns? 6/5/11