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Scandal haiku: Ensign affair revealed by love note

Woodblock print If politics doesn’t work out, Sen. John Ensign can always turn to poetry.

The embattled Nevada Republican took another beating this week when Doug Hampton appeared on ABC’s “Nightline.” Hampton was Ensign’s best friend and top aide until the senator had a months-long affair with Hampton’s wife, Cynthia, who also worked for him.

Though the program Monday night revealed few new details about Ensign’s extraordinary efforts to keep Hampton quiet, it created a whole new round of unflattering headlines for the onetime GOP golden boy. (Ensign, in a statement, said he had not “violated any law or Senate ethics rule” in his dealings with the Hamptons.)

It also showed Ensign to be something of a poet.

Hampton said he found out about Ensign’s affair with his wife by intercepting a text message the senator had sent to Cynthia Hampton.

How wonderful it is.

Can’t believe, it’s like a kid.

Scared but excited.

It’s one syllable from being a haiku, a poem with five syllables in the first and third lines and seven in the second. May we suggest another – with the proper amount of syllables – in anticipation of Ensign’s 2012 reelection bid?

Dreading my next race.

Can’t believe all the damage.

 Scared but … yeah, still scared.

-- Ashley Powers

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, got the poetry of politics by clicking here to get Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. And we're also over here on Facebook.

Illustration: Woodblock print by Ikeda Eisen from the 1820s. Credit: Santa Barbara Museum of Art

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Nice catch on the haiku analysis, Ashley. Perhaps his next haiku might look like this:

Devastating news

Excited Kid not wanted

Can't believe I lost!

How To Have an Affair and Not Get Caught, by Las Vegas author Lauren Tallman, could have saved U.S. Sen. John Ensign a lot of pain and heartache, had he invested in it before embarking on his affair (Las Vegas City Life magazine)


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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