Farewell, Ben Quayle

While the political press corps was distracted in Tampa, the short, hell-knocking congressional career of Ben Quayle came to an inglorious end. I use the term for a reason.

As ballots rolled in, Quayle campaign volunteer Paul Gorman attributed the loss to fallout from a recent story about Congress members partying in Israel, including one who stripped naked to swim. Quayle was on the trip but said he only took a brief, reverent dip in the Sea of Galilee.

The reference is to a Jake Sherman/John Bresnahan scoop about an FBI probe at a Republican congressional trip to Israel, based on “interviews with more than a dozen sources.” The most humiliated subject of the story was Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas, who swam naked in the waters that Jesus once walked on. But Quayle had to apologize for his involvement. For voters who had memories, it was a reminder of the bro-y scandal that almost sunk Quayle in 2010 – his minor role in a website called “Dirty Scottsdale.” The Galilee story went viral, and instead of hoping it would fade, Quayle allies suggested that it was planted by Rep. David Schweikert, his opponent.

But Schweikert won.