Rather, she studies the groveling that comes after politicians engage in such behavior and assesses who does it successfully and who does not. Wise Bauer dissects the roots of what has become common practice for some politicians. She holds a Ph. The subject of your book, groveling, is a timely subject considering that a new member, Tom Rooney R-Fla.
How do you think Mahoney handled groveling? When will these guys — by which I mean elected officials — figure out that this response will not fly? Sex may be a private matter. Why did you write this book? I wrote it because in the late s I was a student at Liberty University when Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker both had their public disgrace. That made an impression on you. Yes, the impression I was left with is that Swaggart ended up in a lot better shape.
His congregation really prayed for him and rallied around him. Bakker had a huge public flame-out. I thought it was a truly fascinating contradiction. Do you have more respect for Swaggart, then? I think it takes a lot of courage and confidence to grovel in public. What is the premise of your book? I think [former Sen. So there was an arrogance to him in the first place. His most explicit confession was at the prayer breakfast. He at first tried to deny it.
Bit by bit he modified his responses until he could say what the voters wanted to hear. The whole way through, he had this posture of humility. The fact that he was willing to modify until he got to what they wanted to hear showed a lack of [the] arrogance that Edwards displayed. Do you believe it was sincere? Whether it was or not is beside the point. I think most of the voters took it as sincere. Do you have to have true humility to pull it off? If you have an elitist attitude it really will come out.
Mark Foley could have confessed up one side and down the other and it would have never made a difference. Eliot] Spitzer [D] could have said. He excused himself and blamed other people. Yes, they absolutely should. I am a little surprised. He recovered from harassing essentially someone who was much less powerful than he was.
Here was a young woman who was in a subordinate position. But she seemed to be going after him. I think she had to be portrayed as the aggressor if he was going to survive. I would not accuse her of that. I would be willing to say that someone on his staff knew what needed to be done. All we know is how she was portrayed. If he had been a CEO it would be have been unthinkable for us to see the woman as the victimizer, yet much of the American public was willing to believe that Monica was the aggressor.
It was amazing he pulled this off. Where do the theories in your book stem from? Confession, before the Protestant Reformation, was something you just did with a priest. After the Protestant Reformation the priest falls out of the equation for Protestants … Rather than confess in private, Protestants stand up in public. What happened in the second half of the 20th century, with broadcast of religious services, is that this mode of confessing in public became wider.
Phil — these two things together, made this something that leaders have to do, a ritual they have to complete if they want power. In your book you discuss Sen. I wrote the book before he was diagnosed. What do you think of the politicians who cheat? If I were married to him I would have killed him.
How did former Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig do in the groveling department? He did a horrendous job. He did two really stupid things.
The first was to submit a guilty plea and then he tried to withdraw it. Second thing, he was trying to use public funds to try to combat his charges. Did we see any groveling during the last campaign cycle, aside from John Edwards? I actually think [Sen. He was helped by the fact that it came out that Larry Flynt offered a reward to anyone who could out a badly behaving politician.
Right from the beginning he appeared to be a victim because someone was pursuing him and wanted to expose him. I need you to forgive me. To recommend a political personality for 20 Questions, call Betsy Rothstein at or e-mail her at betsyr thehill.