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Tears for Affairs

After spending the better part of a week missing, today South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford confessed that he has been carrying on an affair with an Argentinian woman for about a year:

Of course, Sanford is hardly the first politician forced to confront accusations of marital infidelity in front of a frothing press corps. Click through to watch past confessions of adultery from politicians--and a couple denials.

Gary Hart, May 1987.

After being caught having an affair with Donna Rice, Hart held a press conference (no video immediately available) to withdraw from the 1988 presidential race. He struck a more combative tone than normal, declaring himself ''angry and defiant'' at a system that ''reduces the press of this nation to hunter and Presidential candidates to being hunted.''

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Bill Clinton, January 1998.

Bill fact...have sexual relations with that woman.

Jim McGreevey, August 2004.

Declaring, "I am a gay American," the New Jersey governor both confessed an affair with a male Homeland Security aide and announced his resignation.

Larry Craig, August 2007.

Yes, Larry Craig, the former U.S. Senator from Idaho, was arrested for “homosexual lewd conduct” in a men’s restroom in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. But he would like you to know that he is not gay.

Eliot Spitzer, March 2008.

With his wife Silda behind him, the New York governor confessed his involvement in a prostitution ring, but did not mention the part about keeping his socks on.

John Ensign, June 2009.

With considerably less pomp, the Nevada Senator and potential 2012 presidential contender admitted to an affair with a campaign staffer. Was this more than garden-variety adultery? Check out a TNR debate between Michelle Cottle and Christopher Orr.

By Elise Foley, Dylan Matthews, Sharon Nichols