First published December 10, 2003; updated May 13, 2012.
Claims to fame: Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1972-74); U.S. Senator (1978-2009) ; Senate Armed Services Committee chairman; adulterer; damned fool
Moral apex: Dumped first wife Catherine Mellon (she of the ultra-right-wing and obscenely wealthy Mellon-Scaife clan) — from whom he won a $7 million divorce settlement — for Elizabeth Taylor. Married Liz in ’76; separated in ’81; divorced in ’82.
No fool like an old fool: Any moron would have known that marrying Liz would mean a quick induction into the Hall of Ex-Mr. Taylors. (Warner was husband number 7 out of 8.)
What Liz said about Warner on the Larry King show: “I adore him.” Of course, she’s also on record as saying she “adores” wearing gems, and Michael Jackson, among other hobbies, so you can take it to mean she at least thinks more highly of Warner than she does of spawn-of-Satan Eddie Fisher. (Still, she told Larry, the two great loves of her life were Richard Burton and Michael Todd.)
“Bob, I knew what to do, I just didn’t know how to make it interesting.”
— In response to Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.), who asked:
“What was it like to be married to Elizabeth Taylor?”
It figures: If super-pro-gay Liz had any influence on Warner, it was marginal at best; while he’s been known to meet with Log Cabin Republicans (the gay Uncle Toms of the GOP), his record on all civil-rights issues (from LGBT rights to women’s to other minorities’) has been positively abysmal. He’s so anti-gay, he’s even against prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.
Stacked odds & double standards: The “family values” party has no quibble with a twice-divorced Hollywood husband. (Remember how Peter LaBarbera used Jack Ryan‘s marriage to actress Jeri as an example of Ryan’s “immorality”?)
BUT: If you’re a woman with a clean record, and you’ve accused a man of sexually inappropriate behavior, you haven’t got a chance: In 2001, The Southern Political Report called 73-year-old Warner “a solid favorite for reelection” in 2002. Noted SPR: “So far, his only potential opponent is retired General Claudia Kennedy. But Kennedy — who made the front pages when she accused a fellow Army officer of sexual harassment — has not made it official. If she runs, she would be a long shot.”
That’s three-star Lieutenant-General Claudia Kennedy — until her retirement, the U.S. Army’s highest-ranking female officer, who filed charges against Major-General Larry Smith over a 1996 incident in which Smith made unwanted sexual advances toward her.
Note that SPC and other RW sources conveniently omitted the fact that Kennedy won the suit in 2000. Noooooo, can’t let readers know there was any merit to her charges; gotta make the folks believe she’s just another one of these damned hysterical feminazis!
Guess a three-times-married old Republican beats a three-star Democratic general (and a female, unmarried one! gasp!) any day.
“…Sen. John Warner, of Virginia, has been married and divorced twice and now is going to marry for the third time. He has already ruined the lives of two families and now he is going to ruin the life of a third wife. Yet he is going to protect the institution of marriage so that he can continue his serial polygamy with the blessing of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the other states of the country.
“The U.S. Senate is chock full of white rich old men who have enjoyed the benefits of serial polygamy under the marriage laws of the United States not to mention their extra-marital affairs where they have occurred. For a group of men in the Senate to protect the institution of marriage and family values is a primary example of hypocrisy and fraud perpetuated on the citizens of the United States by a group of elected representatives who cannot and do not set a example of protection the institution of marriage in their own personal lives. They want the rest of us to do as they say and not as they do. Give me a break.”
— Dr. Joseph H. Quintano
Letter to Cavalier Daily, October 17, 2003
Suggested Bible reading for Mr. Warner:
This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
— 1 Timothy 3:1-2