Yet another Republican presidential hopeful has become ensnared by a sex scandal. Yesterday, a contrite Steven Clifford apologized for having an affair with a goat: 'êI have let down my family and friends, and, worse, the family and friends of Madison, the goat. I am truly sorry that I got caught.'ê
Clifford'ês admission was particularly embarrassing since he positioned himself as 'êthe anti-bestiality candidate,'ê using the campaign slogan 'êDon'êt shtup the sheep, plug the pig, or lurch the lamb. Just say No.'ê
Clifford denied rumors that the goat was Argentinean. 'êWhile her breed is Swiss Toggenburg, Madison is 100 percent American. And she is not nicknamed 'êThe Hot Swiss Fondue.'ê Friends call her Maddie.'ê He also denied the accusation that the she was a he. 'êEveryone knows that Madison is a girl'ês name and everyone knows that I consider homosexual acts sins against nature and God.'ê
Clifford admitted that government funds might have been spent on this affair. 'êI paid for Maddie'ês presents, a HermÃ¨s scarf and a few trinkets from Harry Winston and Buccellati, from my own pocket. However, my assistant may have mistakenly charged travel and lodging since I often visit barnyards on government business. If so, I will reimburse the government for 15 percent since I spent 15 percent of this trip with Maddie.'ê
Clifford said it 'êpurely coincidental'ê that his last three taxpayer financed foreign trips were to Ceara, Brazil, the Shandong Province in China, and Northern Albania, respectively the homes of the Canide, Loashan, and Hasi breeds of goats. 'êI travel abroad to promote family values and American style democracy. This is the exactly what I do when I barnstorm barnyards in America.'ê
Clifford asserted that his payment of $100,000 to Old MacDonald'ês Farm, Madison'ês corporate owner, was not hush money and was unrelated to this affair. 'êIn a difficult economic environment, I wanted to help Old MacDonald preserve jobs. Jobs. It'ês all about jobs,'ê he explained.
Clifford has been often mentioned, by himself and his publicist, as Republican Presidential candidate in 2012. He believes that voters will remember his principled stands against government waste and inefficiency, flag burning, and bad hair days, and overlook 'êthis one minor blemish on my otherwise immaculate record of dedication, integrity, and service.'ê
He said his wife, Judith, had forgiven him. (Neither Judith nor Madison were available for comments.) 'êShe doesn'êt mind goats. In fact, she'ês okay with most mammals. It is the cold-blooded reptiles and amphibians that get to her.'ê Nonetheless, to begin the healing process, Clifford and his wife will hold prayer meetings with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rick Warren, Cardinal Sean O'êMalley, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, and Imam Mohammad Qatanani. 'êI think I'êve got all the bases covered, although maybe I should add a gay Episcopal Bishop. What do you think,'ê Clifford inquired.
During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clifford charged that Bill Clinton had 'êdishonored the Presidency.'ê Asked if he had now dishonored his own office, Clifford replied, 'êAbsolutely not. Clinton dishonored the office with execrable taste in females. I did not. Madison is much more attractive than either Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones.'ê