With Anthony Weiner officially announcing his run for New York City mayor, one has to wonder if the man can overcome his 2011 scandal when as a House representative he resigned after photos and information were released detailing his extramarital affairs. But while a Weiner comeback has been doubted in some circles, he certainly wouldn’t be the first American politician to come roaring back from a scandal. Here’s a look back at some of the biggest political comebacks from recent history.
Mark Sanford was once the governor of South Carolina. Before resigning from office in 2011, it was discovered that rather than hiking the Appalachian Trail like his spokesperson was claiming, Sanford was visiting his mistress in Argentina. He resigned in disgrace and eventually divorced his wife.
Fast forward to May 7, 2013, and Sanford is now the representative of South Carolina’s First District, and married to his former mistress.
Eliot Spitzer, the former mayor of New York City, was also known as “Client 9” to the Emperors Club VIP, a high-cost prostitution ring. Spitzer would resign as governor in 2008.
In the wake of his resignation, Spitzer has hosted several news commentary shows — from Parker Spitzer and In the Arena on CNN, to Viewpoint with Elliot Spitzer on Current TV.
After serving as a United States senator from New York, former First Lady Hilary Clinton launched her long-expected campaign for president in 2008, where it was widely believed that she would become the nation's first female president. However, the junior U.S. senator from Illinois named Barack Obama won the Iowa Democratic caucus.
After a brutal campaign, Clinton would settle for being the Secretary of State for her former opponent. Now Clinton ranks as one of the most admired women in the world and one of the most admired American politicians.
Though she has been coy, many are again speculating that if she runs in 2016, the presidency is hers.
Bill Clinton left office under allegations of misconduct and the stain of an impeachment trial.
In 2001 he founded the Clinton Global Initiative to promote humanitarian causes.
Today he is a respected philanthropist — receiving two dozen honorary degrees and prizes for his work — and as of 2012, held a 66 percent approval rating from the American public.
Newt Gingrich went from leading the GOP to landslide victories and control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, to eventually being forced out of office amidst sexual scandal, low approval ratings and challenges from within the party he had helped shape.
Fourteen years latter, the two-time presidential candidate is considered a leader of the Republican Party once again and frequently appears on talk shows to discuss the latest news and current events.
When Romney ran for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in 1994, the result wasn’t pretty. Romney was solidly beaten, and it appeared as if his brief stint into politics was over.
Then in 2002 he took over as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics and is credited with saving the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
He went on to serve as the governor of Massachusetts before running for president in 2008.
Though he lost the republican nomination to Sen. John McCain, Romney was seen as the obvious Republican nominee for 2012 — which he went on to become.
David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, was implicated in the 2007 “Madam of D.C.” scandal, in which he appeared as a client of a high-class prostitution ring in D.C.
He resigned that year, but in 2010 he would comeback to win a second term as state senator.