A Quickie Guide to Career-Ending Political Sex Scandals


(L) Paula Broadwell led CIA Head David Petraeus to resign. (R) Petraeus and his wife, Holly. (Getty)

As details of General David Petraeus' sex scandal continue to emerge, each one leads to further questions, raging from concerns that the (now former) director of the CIA may have compromised the security of America's secrets to confusion over how many members of the military's top brass are engaging in potentially career-ending affairs. Ultimately, however, one thing is not in doubt: Petraeus' affair has shut the door on a promising political career.

Petraeus is not alone: Washington's halls of power are littered with the corpses of promising political careers that fell victim to sexual scandals. And, while each affair has its own distinctive contours, D.C. affairs generally fall into a few simple categories.

Here's our short list of the top six types of political career-ending affair. If we missed one, be sure to let us know.

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