How do politicians think?
Britain's third (and largely pointless) third political party, the Liberal Democrats, has been leaderless since Charles Kennedy was forced to resign after admitting that he was receiving treatment for alcoholism. That sounds a bit harsh, but I think it had more to do with the fact that he'd been an alcoholic for a couple of years at least and had done everything possible to conceal this from the party and the country at large. People don't like it when politicians conceal things.
In the race to suceed Kennedy, the first to declare an interest in the leadership was Sir Menzies Campbell, the party's elder statesman. Another was the young-gun, home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten. He was looking quite competent on camera and with the Conservative's recently electing a younger leader, many thought he might be in with a chance against Campbell.
That was until a newspaper revealed that Oaten, married with two children, was having an affair with a 23 year old man with allegations that the man was a 'rentboy'. Now leaving aside all arguments over morality etc., you have to wonder what was going through Mark Oaten's mind when he decided to run for the party leadership. Didn't he think for even one second that this would come out in the press? It never ceases to amaze me how that when people get on a roll in public life and are popular, they can't resist reaching for the next level regardless of whether it's actually a good idea or not.