7 of Best and Worst Marriages to Hit the Political Stage

Sixty years ago, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier got married, and before long became American icons. Though they and their marriage were portrayed as the elegant, stylish ideal, the relationship was far from perfect. JFK most likely had multiple affairs, including one with Marilyn Monroe. Yet the young couple still sticks in the cultural mind. In honor of their complicated and very public relationship, we bring you some other political couples that showcase both the best and the worst of what marriage can be.

Sixty years ago, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier got married, and before long became American icons. Though they and their marriage were portrayed as the elegant, stylish ideal, the relationship was far from perfect. JFK most likely had multiple affairs, including one with Marilyn Monroe. Yet the young couple still sticks in the cultural mind. In honor of their complicated and very public relationship, we bring you some other political couples that showcase both the best and the worst of what marriage can be.

Best: Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords

It's that classic story: He's an astronaut, she's a U.S. Congresswoman, they met during a trade mission to China, and fell in love. In 2011, Giffords was shot in the head while holding an event for her constituents. Kelly rushed to the hospital and stayed by her side through her long recovery process, and eventually retired from NASA to better support her. The two collaborated to write a book about their lives and are now outspoken gun-control advocates, as well.

Worst: John and Elizabeth Edwards

It's hard to remember now, but John Edwards once tried to run for President in a primary race against both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama at the same time. Silly boy. His dreams were dashed, though, when it was revealed that he'd been cheating on his wife Elizabeth with filmmaker Rielle Hunter. He managed to both father child and make a sex tape with her, either of which is enough to end a political career on its own. Shortly after the scandal blew up, his wife left him.

Best: Barack and Michelle Obama

These two are possibly the greatest first couple in history. Certainly the best from this millennium — sorry George and Laura, but no. Both accomplished professionals in their own right — she has a law degree and was once an associate dean at the prestigious University of Chicago, and he's, well, the president — the two are a solid team and the ultimate power couple.

Worst: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

After 25 years of marriage, the govenator and his wife Maria got divorced. Why? Because it turns out he'd fathered a child with a member of their household staff. Schwarzenegger publicly admitted the affair, which occurred prior to his becoming the governor of California, and accepted responsibility. But Shriver, who stood by her husband through groping allegations in his gubernatorial campaign, had clearly had enough.

Best: Ronald and Nancy Reagan

Much as we all like to despair over Nancy Reagan's "just say no" advice about drugs and the way it has taken over drug policy in this country, it's hard to argue that she and Ronald were an adorable couple. The two were married for over 50 years and went through the ups and downs of both Hollywood and national politics together, from political scandals to an assassination attempt to her bout with breast cancer.

Worst: Newt Gingrich and...well, everyone he's ever married

Newt Gingrich got married for the first time when he was 19 to his former geometry teacher Jacqueline Battley, who was then 26. He had a string of girl friends and eventually left Battley for one of them while she was in the hospital recovering from uterine cancer in 1980. He cheated on his second wife, Marianne Ginther, as well, and eventually left her for his current wife, Callista Bisek, whom he married in 1999, shortly after attempting to impeach President Clinton over his affair with Monica Lewinski. Bisek and Gingrich are still together, but honestly, it's Newt Gingrich. We can't imagine it's a perfect marriage.

It's Complicated: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin and Eleanor were a definite team throughout his three and a half terms as U.S. President, trusting each other's judgment and respecting each other's ability. But they also each had romantic relationships outside the marriage — in Eleanor's case, with both men and women. Though they seemingly gave each other their blessing, they also spent a lot of time apart. Ultimately, it seems marriage is complicated for everyone, even politicians.