Disgraced politicians: Where are they now?

Ice cream man. Priest. Junior salesman. Here's what Gary Condit, Jim McGreevy and 6 other shamed politicians are doing with their post-political lives

Gary Condit, ice cream man
(Image credit: Corbis)

Eric Massa, the disgraced Democrat congressman portraying himself as a victim of an Obama-led conspiracy, has now resigned. When Glenn Beck and the rest of the media finally decide to turn their attention elsewhere, Massa will find himself looking for a new job — and given the allegations of sexual harassment in his office, it's unlikely to be in politics. To offer a sense of the range of possibilities open to former Congressman Massa, we've looked at the paths chosen by other disgraced former politicians. If he follows any of their leads, Massa could:

Become a professional celebrity

Perhaps encouraged by notorious celebrities who reinvigorated their careers on trashy TV shows, both Rod Blagojevich and Tom Delay made reality TV their milieu post-politics. Delay, the fiery GOP majority leader forced out by a conspiracy felony, pulled on tap shoes for Dancing With the Stars last year. And Blagojevich, who attempted to sell President Obama's senate seat whilst governor of Illinois, is set to appear on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice this Sunday.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Join the priesthood

Jim McGreevy, the "love governor" who resigned from his New Jersey post after confessing adultery with a gay lover, is hardly the first disgraced politician to turn to the church. But McGreevy has taken his commitment to Christ to a deeper level, training to become an Episcopal priest in Hoboken, NJ.

Write pulp novels

The author John Blackthorn might have faded into obscurity after his pulpy political thrillers "Sins of the Fathers" and "I, Che Guevara" were published to middling acclaim during the late 1990s. But it was revealed in 2000 that Blackthorn was the pen name of Gary Hart, the Democrat Presidential candidate whose affair with model Donna Rice ended his 1987 campaign. Blackthorn's true identity failed to impress a reviewer at Time, who wrote of Hart's latter novel: "his characters wade through the plot as if it were molasses"

Open an ice cream store (or two)

Gary Condit, whose career was wrecked by the Chandra Levy affair, went on to run two Baskin Robbins in Phoenix, AZ — though the ice cream company has since sued him over a failed franchise deal.

Become an activist

The many GOP politicians recently outed as gay should learn from the example of Jon Hinson. The Mississipi congressman resigned after being arrested for "oral sodomy" in a Federal building on Capitol Hill. But Hinson went on to become a prominent gay rights activist post-scandal, lobbying extensively to allow gays in the military. He died of an AIDS-related illness in 1995.

Start at the bottom

The disgraced Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick took a job last year as a lowly sales account executive at Dallas-based software firm Covisint, in spite of a lengthy rap sheet of political misdemeanors.

Travel the world

Fred Richmond, the Brooklyn congressman whose pot smoking and underage affairs made him a cause celebre in the 1970s, now lives a life of leisure, reports the New York Post. The 86-year-old is still an adventurous traveller, visiting both Patagonia and Antarctica last year.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.