North Carolina Senate candidate Cal Cunningham’s biggest scandal before October was tweeting that there’s ‘nothing better than BBQ’ while standing next to a gas grill with a spatula in hand. Cockburn has learned that this is a major faux pas in the South because real barbecue (not hamburgers and hotdogs) is not grilled. This light-hearted transgression, however, turned out to be the least of Cunningham’s worries in the race.
Indeed, Cunningham is now being smoked longer than a pork butt over leaked sexts that revealed he was having an affair with the wife of an Army veteran.
In the texts with Arlene Guzman Todd, Cunningham calls her ‘historically sexy’, discusses wanting to ‘roll over and kiss’ her, and more. Guzman Todd claims in messages to a friend that she has nude photos of Cunningham and that they had sex in the home where his wife and kids reside. Cunningham also referred to Guzman Todd as the ‘best therapist’ after she indicated her husband had become suicidal.
Cunningham ultimately issued a public apology for the affair, but declined to drop out of the high stakes race. The Democratic party is relying on on Cunningham to win incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis’s seat in order to flip the Senate. There’s reason to believe that these sex scandals don’t hit quite as hard in the age of Trump; a poll conducted October 4-5 by Public Policy Polling showed that Cunningham had actually increased his lead against Tillis by two percentage points.
Even if he wins the seat, Cunningham’s personal life is sure to take a hit. He used photos of his smiling wife and two children on his campaign website and often talked about his ‘values’ and character. His family must be reeling from the betrayal. Cunningham’s military career is also on the line; the US military takes adultery very seriously and has been known to prosecute military personnel for such transgressions. The Army Reserve is currently investigating Cunningham and he could easily be discharged from the military for his conduct.
After all that, the most important question Cunningham will have to ask himself is, ‘Was it worth it’?