Name of a politician who was “saved” by 9/11?

I am trying to recall the name of a senior US politician. If I remember the story correctly (and maybe I don’t), this man was implicated in a scandal which under normal circumstances would have sunk his political career for good. He would have been eaten alive by the press, his political opponents and the public. However, the story broke shortly before September 11th 2001 and was subsequently totally overshadowed by the horrendous attacks. This politician was essentially able to sit out his scandal in the shadow of the events that made world history. I’m not even sure about the nature of the scandal: financial, extramarital affair?

Does this ring a bell with anybody?

Gary Condit wrt to the Chandra Levy murder.

Yes, thank you!

It’s worth noting that Condit wasn’t saved by 9/11. He was widely suspected in the murder of Chandra Levy but the story got dropped from national attention after the 9/11 attacks. So everyone heard that Condit was a suspect but nobody heard that he was innocent. Levy was actually murdered by a serial killer who was arrested a few months later.

But the news about their affair disappeared right after 9/11.

Yes, the story was garbled in the op. However, its also worth pointing out that the controversy surrounding Condit was not due solely to him being suspected in Levy’s murder(or even primarily suspected?) but because he was suspected of being evasive during the investigation. He was viewed as attempting to save his career rather than openly co-operating with police during a missing pesrsons/suspected murder inquiry.

Levy’s remains were found about 9 months after 9/11. The finding of the remains and the clearing of Condit of her murder was a substantial time after 9/11.

Disappeared from the National news perhaps. Condit was a local politician though. It’s unlikely his constituents forgot about the affair so easily as the national news outlets did. In fact Condit was beaten in the Democratic primary the next year. I assume the Levy controversy played a large part in this defeat.

Let’s face facts. Nobody would give a damn about how evasive Condit was if that was the end of it. People only cared about his behavior because it gave them an excuse to discuss the possibility that he killed Levy.

And while Ingmar Guandique wasn’t technically charged with Levy’s murder for several years, it was clear as soon as he was arrested for the murder of other women that he was the main suspect in Levy’s murder as well.

Sorry, but I disagree. I have no doubt there was media titillation going on. His role in her disappearance exaggerated for effect. But he was a fairly traditional family values politician. The discovery of the affair in itself was enough to get some publicity; the affair plus Levy going missing was enough to garner greater publicity; the affair, plus Levy going missing plus Condit not co-operating with authorities was enough for a fairly major national story. This all before Levy’s body was found.

Condit was subjected to a public smear campaign by Levy’s family, friends and police(?). A campaign which he in part brought upon himself. Even before a murder was confirmed the story had all the ingredients of being juicy as hell.

George W. Bush was re-elected to a second term.

Moderator Note

njtt, I’m sure you know that this is not the answer to the question posed in the OP. In view of this fact, this is a political jab, which is not allowed in GQ. No warning issued, but do not do this again.

General Questions Moderator

It’s an answer. GWB’s approval ratings were trending down towards 50% and sure-fire election loss territory through 2001. Post-9/11 they went through the roof and remained higher than they had been until the 2004 election. They also spiked after the Iraq invasion, of course.


George Bush was not involved in any scandal that broke immediately before 9/11, so the response was clearly not the answer the OP was looking for. I’m quite sure that njtt was well aware of this, but just took the opportunity to take a poke at Bush. Now drop the hijack.

General Questions Moderator

I believe Condit was also the lone dissenting vote on invading Afghanistan to crush the Taliban. He knew his career was over so he said ‘Fuck it!’ I guess…

EDIT: taking it to pms

Not quite. A quick google shows he voted in favour of invading Afghanistan. It was Iraq he voted against invading. Still, you may be correct, it may have been a “fuck you” vote.

Not scandal, per se, but wasn’t Giuliani in pretty deep weeds with his constituents before 9/11 have him a chance to step up?

Giuliani was scheduled to leave office in January 2002 - the mayoral election was in Nov. 2001, and he wasn’t running due to term limits. He tried to get a 3 month extension to his position after the attacks, but Bloomberg took office normally on Jan 1. Rudy certainly got a ton of press during those 4 months, but apart from a dismal showing in the 2008 presidential primary, he never ran for or held any office again.

In fact the primary election was on 9/11/01. The voting was suspended soon after the polls opened and rescheduled on 9/25. Giuliani was in no way saved by 911. He was riding out the end of his term like many lame duck politicians. No particular scandals. 911 certainly enhanced his national exposure. It’s even possible he could have rode the wave to a victory over Hillary for the senate but he had to drop out due to cancer treatments. But he certainly does not fit the criteria of the OP.

Wow, I had no idea it was resolved! I’m just finding out about this now! Yet another reason to hate 9/11!