3) Shake it off like European leaders. Don’t cry in the media like Sanford did, allowing them to set the agenda by responding to them almost daily like you’re a willing participant in some sort of reality show. Just keep going about your job and responsibilities until you’re forcibly removed (which is much more difficult to achieve if you can prove that you’re effective and competent). Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s wife publicly announced that she wants a divorce because her husband won’t stop cavorting with young women. HE then publicly demanded an apology from HER – and went on to enjoy a major victory the European Union elections and the support of at least half of the voting public. His critics are now so desperate that they’re circulating a petition trying to convince G8 country wives to boycott the upcoming summit on Berlusconi’s turf simply because he’s a cheating lout. Likewise, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s personal life has taken a beating in the media over the years but he has never been distracted from his job. Unless your sex scandal rises to the level of the Profumo Affair -- in other words, you’re a War Minister spilling secrets to your mistress while she’s also bedding an enemy of the state – don’t let the media pretend your sex life is that important.
4) Don’t ask for your wife’s cooperation. Be a big boy and take the heat alone. From Silda Spitzer to Hillary Clinton and Jenny Sanford, what’s the deal with these political wives who stand by their man after he gets busted for cheating on them? None of them ever look like they’re keen on being there or genuine in their diplomatic approach to the situation. It’s actually better for both the husband’s career and the wife’s mental health if she just lets him have it publicly with both barrels. The wives will feel better about it, and voters may even start feeling sorry for the guy. Everyone wins. Some have referred to Jenny Sanford’s statement as “classy”. I find that to be a characterization typically used by men who hope that their wives would be equally calm and understanding if they were ever caught cheating themselves. If I was in Jenny Sanford’s place, my statement would have been 10% identical to hers – meaning all the prepositions and conjunctions would have been the same. But that’s where the similarities would have ended.