You already know the details: Senator Ensign admitted to having an affair with a staffer while separated from his wife, who worked for Ensign's campaign and the NRSC and whose husband was a close adviser. As Washington sex scandals go, this one rates a *yawn*.
I am confused by the presidential talk, though. I've never heard it mentioned as anything more than cocktail party speculation. The evidence for such a scenario is
- Ensign gave a speech in Iowa.
- Ensign's been burnishing his conservative credentials.
- This confession will clear the air for 2012.
The day after the revelation, Ensign resigned his leadership posts. Maybe that gives him more latitude to position himself - it's hard running for President when you've got leadership responsibilities. But my theory was that he was working his way up Senate leadership, not a presidential run.
There may be more to come from this story but this is pure speculation on my part. I don't want to add any more salaciousness to the already oversexed Series of Tubes.
For Nevada, nothing really has changed. Ensign is not the new LuvGuv. In the Governor's case, his escapades are a metaphor for more serious bipartisan frustration with his performance. I don't think that is the case with Ensign.
Perhaps this opens up the possibility for a more serious primary challenge, and I would watch the GOP gubernatorial primary in case it provides strong 'leftover' candidates who need another white whale to hunt. But if the Reid re-election and the Governor's race don't bring out the hungry young lions of the GOP, I don't know what will.
I'm sure that Dina Titus, however, is watching this all unfold with interest.