We can’t blame you if you’d almost forgotten about John Ensign. Since the GOP senator confessed last month to an affair, he’s been unceremoniously knocked out of the headlines by the successive implosions of two other Republican 2012 hopefuls.
But the philandering Nevadan doesn’t deserve to go gently into that good night just yet. And yesterday the Las Vegas Sun had a report on the relationship between Ensign and Doug and Cynthia Hampton — the latter was Ensign’s paramour from December 2007 until August 2008 — which jibes in places with what we reported several weeks ago.
The Sun asks why Ensign hired his “best pal” Doug Hampton in 2006 for a high-paying job in the senator’s office, despite Doug Hampton’s apparent lack of qualifications for the post. The paper notes that Darlene Ensign — the senator’s wife — and Cynthia Hampton went to high school together, but then adds:
The Hampton and Ensign families also shared conservative evangelism, according to people who know them. The men shared a commitment to the principles of Promise Keepers, a Christian fellowship that espouses strong marriages and families.
We reported last month on the Promise Keepers connection, and noted that one of the seven promises to which participants commit themselves is “pursuing vital relationships with a few other men, understanding that he needs brothers to help him keep his promises.”
A source told us for that post that when Hampton was hired, the attitude among other staffers was, “This is the boss’s religious buddy. We’re not gonna bitch about him, but we don’t really like him.”
In other words, could it be that Ensign — who had had a long unexplained absence from his job in 2002, which many observers believe was triggered by another affair — brought his religious friend onto the staff in part to help keep himself on the path of righteousness, but then ended up straying from that path, with disastrous consequences, with his friend’s wife?
The word irony would hardly do it justice…