Ensign resigns leadership post

The Nevada senator, who admitted to an affair on Tuesday, was the Senate's third-ranking Republican

By Alex Koppelman

Published June 17, 2009 6:35PM (EDT)

Until this week, Nevada Sen. John Ensign was the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, making him the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator. Then came the revelation, on Tuesday, that he had an affair with a campaign staffer who was married to a man working in his Senate office. On Wednesday, Ensign resigned from his leadership role, though he remains in his seat.

For now, though, this will probably be the extent of the fallout from Ensign's disclosure. At this point, a standard-issue affair like this one isn't huge news, certainly not enough to make him consider resigning from the Senate altogether. It might put a damper on the career of a man once seen as a rising star, though, and it will hurt any chance of his winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, which he seemed to be considering a run at.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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