America is a country that has had its share of political scandals. Since the founding of the country there have been individuals in positions in the government that have become corrupt or involved in some actions that were controversial. These are the top ten scandals that rocked Washington D.C. as well as the rest of the country in the 20th and 21st centuries. Some escaped legal actions or impeachment while other did not but one thing is for sure they didn’t escape the stigma or drop in public sentiment.

1. Teapot Dome Scandal – This bribery scandal rocked Warren G. Harding’s administration. An oil field on public land had been leased to an individual and in return the Secretary of the interior received large amounts of money.

2. Pentagon Papers – The top secret study entailed the U.S. Department of Defenses’ political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945-1967. It wasn’t intended for publication but it was leaked and the New York Times printed a series of articles on it in 1971. Protests, political controversy and lawsuit followed.

3. Chappaquiddick – Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge and killed his passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. He left the body of the woman in the car, then left the scene and didn’t report it to police until the next day.

4. Watergate -Five men broke into DNC headquarters but were caught. The FBI found they were connected to Re-elect the President committee. Evidence mounted against the president’s staff and Nixon wouldn’t hand over the tape recordings. Eventually, to try and end it all he resigned.

5. Abscam – This FBI sting operation where FBI members posed as Middle Eastern businessmen and videotaped talks with government officials where they offered money in exchange for political favors. Through this operation thirty-one officials and one senator and five House members were convicted.

6. Iran-Contra Affair – Senior US figures agreed to sale arms to Iran despite the embargo in order to secure the release of hostages as well as fund Nicaraguan terrorists known as the Contras.

7. Clinton Sex Scandal – A White House intern got involved with the President and the investigation led to an impeachment of the president in the House of Representative. but not in the Senate.

8. Plame Affair – This was a CIA scandal where the name of a covert CIA officer was leaked supposedly because her husband done an op-ed called “What I Didn’t Find in Africa” addressing his doubts about the factual basis of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

9. Lawyergate – Congressional investigations focused on whether the Justice Department and the White House used U.S. Attorney positions for political advantage.

10. John Edwards – John Edward denied having an affair with a former film producer and being the father of her child. But it was later discovered Edwards had cheated on his terminally ill wife and he was the father of Ms. Hunter’s child.

Education and a college degree can help you get into politics. There are a number of degrees that politicians are looking for like political science, communications, history, and law but it isn’t limited to those. The government and companies don’t necessarily want a specific degree in order to hire you; they just like seeing you have one. Not only does it bring greater knowledge but also skills and it shows that you have determination, drive, and you know how to work and accomplish tasks that are given to you.

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