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The Lighter Side of Political Dirty Laundry

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Politics is a dirty business. It's rare to find politicos whose underwear is sparkling clean. You can see for yourself when they post photos on Twitter, like former Congressman Anthony Weiner did before he resigned. Even the best of our elected bunch are prone to getting soiled when mud slinging is a sport sponsored by Tide . As the pre-season playoffs get in gear for the next presidential election, let's take a look at some of the dirty laundry already out there and what might be aired later for the public to choke on.

Ted Cruz was the first notable politician to throw his fedora into the White House ring. The son of Cuban immigrants, Cruz may best be remembered for his long drone on Capitol Hill that included reading the Dr. Seuss book "Green Eggs and Ham," an appropriate choice for the lowest common denominator, which includes certain Senate members. Cruz wiped the egg onto his shirtsleeve when he criticized Obama for extensive use of executive power without first fact checking that his beloved George W. Bush had a worse record. This Canadian-born candidate should prepare to be put on the spot by "birthers" wanting to see his birth certificate. This inconvenient detail needs pre-treating with a blast of spot remover.

In the last pre-election season, another Cuban American, Marco Rubio, commenting on immigration reform, posited one position in Spanish and a contradictory one in English, then denied it despite proof to the contrary. This year I bet the Florida republican flip-flops in two feet of water as he denies the sea is rising. He will speak in Spanish to avoid using the term "climate change."

It's hard to play in the "Bushes" and not come out dirty. In 1999, Jeb Bush's wife misled U.S. Customs officials regarding $19,000 in clothes and jewelry she purchased in Paris. She claimed to feel "horrible about this," and who wouldn't after getting caught? $19,000 worth of smuggled clothing makes for a lot of laundry. On the other hand, Jeb's mom thinks he's too honest for admitting to smoking pot. Some people won't care, but others know smoke smell clings to your clothes, especially when you're trying to keep it a Schedule 1 drug.

And speaking of honesty, it seems Jeb made an honest mistake by selecting "Hispanic" on his voter registration form. What most people don't understand is that this was an act of unprecedented honesty. In an unprotected moment Jeb revealed his secret nightmare, as insiders confirm he is a Hispanic born into the body of a white man. Potential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, suggests surgically removing Jeb from Florida and reattaching him south of the border.

Chris Christie, whose theme song should be "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" for intentionally snarling traffic, is another politician who just can't seem to help himself. He thinks he's looking out for number one when in reality he's stepping in number two! He's going to need a gallon jug of sanitizer as conflict of interest and misuse of funds claims continue to dog him.

As for the "fairer" sex, and in this case I mean fair in intelligence, it's doubtful that Sarah Palin will join her Republican cohorts when it has proved easier to stick with infotainment. She can make unintentionally funny comments and shoot wildlife from a chopper, all without getting make-up on her collar. What could be more sporting? Ask Dick Cheney who had to clean the gunpowder off his hunting jacket after accidentally shooting an acquaintance in the face while mistaking him for a bird. Like Cheney's aim, Palin knows her base is scattershot.

Elizabeth Warren is keeping her distance by keeping her hat on her head. The fabric softener fresh senator doesn't own any dirty laundry, nor does she seem keen on creating any. Thus far, "no" means "no." Should she change her mind and join the fray, her only potential downfall is the lack of a "spin cycle" on her political machine.

In a proactive move of sparkling foresight, Hillary Clinton took charge of any potential dirt on her laundry by wiping her server clean. No e-mails, no problem! Clorox wipes should hire her as their spokesperson. Now that's she's officially a candidate, the pundits will have plenty of food for thought, especially with recipes created using Monsanto GMOs. If Jeb Bush is known by the company he keeps, the same applies to Hillary and her contacts in agribusiness. However, her husband, Bill Clinton, created the most true-to-form dirty laundry scandal of all time with what else? Dirty laundry! No one will ever forget that Monica played his harmonica and combined with other messes ended up with a laundry predicament big enough to impeach a sitting president. That's some powerful laundry stain! Yet Bill lives to do good works.

This abbreviated list is a reminder that dirty laundry has been around a long time. There's sure to be more to come, so set the washing machine for an extra rinse. We're going to need it.

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Janet F. Williams is an oral and written communications specialist, and award-winning author of the book, "You Don't Ask, You Don't Get." Please visit: and

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