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The Top Five Political Excuses of All Time

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford isn't the only politician to offer a brazen excuse for alleged bad behavior

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted to reporters today that he has smoked crack cocaine.
Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images
November 5, 2013 3:55 PM ET

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford joined a dubious Hall of Fame today when he tried to salvage his political career by blaming his admitted use of crack cocaine — allegedly documented on a video now reportedly in police custody — on his drinking. "Yes I have smoked crack cocaine," Ford told reporters. "But no, do I, am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago." Here's a look at the top political excuse-makers of all time — and where they are today.

Larry Craig

Larry Craig
Larry Craig
Jay Premack/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Craig, a sitting Republican senator from Idaho, blamed his 2007 arrest in a Minneapolis airport restroom for alleged lewd conduct – soliciting sex by playing footsie with an undercover officer in the next stall – on having a "a wide stance when going to the bathroom." Craig, a social conservative who had championed a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage, was sunk by the scandal. He retired in 2008.

Mark Sanford

Mark Sanford
Mark Sanford
Richard Ellis/Getty Images

When the governor of South Carolina disappeared for nearly a week to Buenos Aires for a tryst with his Argentine paramour in 2009, he told his staff to inform the media that he was merely "hiking the Appalachian trail." Sanford was censured and served out his term under a cloud – but he soon relaunched his political career, winning election to Congress this year.

Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner
Anthony Weiner
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

When the kinky congressman accidentally sexted a picture of his man-bulge on Twitter in 2011, he insisted, "I was hacked."After Weiner's wiener was positively ID'd, he was forced to resign his House seat. His attempt to revive his political career by running for mayor of New York this year was also torpedoed when it came to light that he'd continued his sext-capades using the social media handle "Carlos Danger."

Marion Barry

Marion Barry
Marion Barry
Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post/Getty Images

When the FBI caught the mayor of D.C. was caught smoking crack in 1990, he exclaimed "bitch set me up" – a reference to the former girlfriend who'd helped the feds set up the sting. But Barry's six months in federal prison were just a detour; he won re-election to the mayor's office in 1994 and now serves on the D.C. city council. Today, Barry continues to skirt responsibility and insists that his and Ford's crack scandals are nothing alike: "Unless he was entrapped by the government," Barry said, "It's not similar."

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