• 1. Alexander Hamilton

    In an effort to discredit his political rival, vice president Thomas Jefferson leaked to the press that Treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton had had an affair. This threatened Hamilton’s credibility and his goal of “bringing the Industrial Revolution to the United States.” Hamilton addressed his infidelity head on, preventing his “sex scandal from tainting his economic program and impeding the nation’s entry into the Industrial Revolution.” See how far an eloquently worded apology will take you?

  • 2. James Buchanan

    In the chapter “Sex and the Civil War,” Flynt writes that Buchanan had a well-known 32-year love affair with Alabama Senator William Rufus King, resulting in “tragic consequences for our nation.” King was adamantly pro-slavery. As the nation was breaking up toward the end of his presidency, Buchanan took his lover’s position on the issue. “Throughout his career, Buchanan bent over backward to help the proslavery cause…His decisions make sense only if one makes the connection between his devotion to the Southern cause and his romantic relationship with King.”

  • 3. Franklin Roosevelt

    His affairs boosted his self-confidence, which “was essential to his unique ability to rally the country during the Great Depression and World War II. By pumping up FDR, [his mistresses] Lucy and Missy did the nation and world a great service.”

  • 4. Abraham Lincoln

    “Was Abraham Lincoln gay or in the terms of his day, a ‘sodomite’ or ‘bugger’? We cannot definitely say…But it is reasonable to assume that a man who felt trapped by the sexual and social mores of the his time would have possessed an added sympathy for the enslaved.”