The day after Bill Clinton admitted on national television that he had carried on an affair with Monica Lewinsky, Democratic Virginia Rep. Jim Moran lamented the baseness of the national scandal.
“This whole sordid mess is just too tawdry and tedious and embarrassing,” he said in 1998. “It’s like a novel that just became too full of juicy parts and bizarre, sleazy characters.”
The criticism was stinging, mainly because Moran is a world-renowned expert in sleaze.
Last week, another chapter was added to Moran’s tawdry political career when his son was arrested outside of a Washington, D.C. bar for, according to police, grabbing his girlfriend “by the back of the head with his hand and slam[ming] her head” into a “metal trashcan cage.”
The report went on to quote a medical technician who said the girl’s nose looked broken and “her right eye socket could possibly be fractured which is actually considered a skull fracture.”
Rep. Moran seemed nonplussed by the incident, calling his son and his battered girlfriend “good kids” and saying they “look forward to putting this embarrassing situation behind them.”
On that account, Moran can be of great service to his son because few know more about putting embarrassing situations behind them than Jim Moran. His career has led from one embarrassment to the next, including numerous physical confrontations, bombastic accusations against individuals and even an ethnic group, and a history of sketchy financial dealings.
A former amateur boxer, Moran has taken the skills he honed in the ring into elective office — literally.
In the mid-1980s, he served as mayor of Alexandria, Va., where he reportedly had a history of engaging in physical altercations while in office.
“The Mayor was clearly guilty of assault on more than one occasion,” an officer told the online news site Capitol Hill Blue in a 1999 profile of Moran. “But the word came down. The Mayor was off limits. Ordinary citizens go to jail. Not the Mayor.”
“He was a bully and a thug … we’d call the cops but they wouldn’t do anything,” added a bartender in Alexandria where Moran caroused.
One combatant during that time said when Moran and he got into a confrontation he quickly realized he “was looking into the eyes of a madman.”
As a congressman in 1995, Moran got into a scuffle — what’s been described as a “shoving match” — with now-disgraced Republican Rep. Duke Cunningham, on the House floor. In 1999, Moran’s wife called the cops on him, saying he grabbed her in the heat of an argument. He claimed he was just restraining her and no charges were filed, but wife number two filed for divorce the next day.
Most bizarrely, in 2000, Moran attacked an 8-year-old boy he claimed threatened to carjack him, though the boy said he simply told Moran he “liked his car.” Moran was accused of grabbing the boy by the neck and screaming profanities at him. “He choked me and cussed at me,” said the boy, whom The Washington Times described as under five feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds.
Moran called the charges “all lies.”