Speaking of which, geography can also determine whether any given politician can survive a sex scandal. Weiner could trade his social media exploits for some much less sexy online language-learning adventures, then take his act to France or Italy. He'll suffer initial mockery for being a politico-sexual lightweight, but then it'll all be smooth sailing. Europeans have collectively considered the multiple infidelities of almost every elected representative from Jacques Chirac to Silvio Berlusconi and have asked themselves in each case if these men's cheating on their significant other means they're likely to screw over the electorate. The answer: Yeah, probably -- but not significantly more so than any European politician. The scum de la scum! Voters aren't electing husbands - thank goodness. Europeans just seem to be more realistic about what politicians represent and what to expect of them.
As we saw in the Clinton case, a battle-axe spouse who looks like she's ready to murder the transgressor with her eyes while he's sniveling out a mea culpa can also be useful in assuring sex-scandal survival. "OK, looks like she's got this covered," voters think. "Maybe we can move on to other things."
Not doing anything sexy on Uncle Sam's dime is a good way to dodge sex accusations. Not using your public office as a shag-pad, and not using taxpayer-funded office equipment to blast your manhood across America, goes a long way in later arguing that it was all private and personal and people should butt out.
A final thing that endangers a politician's chances of surviving a sex scandal: photos.
While it may be easier to convey a thousand words with a quick snap of one's appendage, as Weiner did, it's nevertheless better to slow down and pound out those thousand words one by one. Not because letters would ultimately be any less damaging, but because they take a lot more time and effort for people to absorb and blow back out through their noses along with a mouthful of their morning coffee. Many won't bother. Letters also reduce the chance that Bill Clinton, your wife, or other important people in your personal or professional life will have an unexpected walk-on part in your pornographic montage, as was the case with Weiner when he captured framed portraits of them in his shots.