The 5 Most Notorious Hotels in Politics

See recent posts by Jessica Porter

Just because Anthony Weiner’s Twitter scandal is current breaking news doesn’t mean we can forget about our past. Being such a powerful city, it is no wonder Washington, D.C. has seen its share of political controversy. Lucky for us, some of the juiciest scandals took place in hotel rooms. Below are some of our favorite stories to hit the newsstands.

1. Renaissance Mayflower Hotel
The Renaissance Mayflower Hotel has been home to many career-ending affairs. In 1998 a photo surfaced of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky hugging outside the building after Clinton’s reelection in 1996. Sounds innocent, but it only fueled the fire after he claimed he did not have a sexual relationship with the intern. Before his eventual impeachment she was interviewed about their affair in the hotel’s presidential suite. A decade later, New York governor Eliot Spitzer brought call-girl Ashley Alexandra Dupré back to room 871 — an illicit encounter that became public and helped bring about his resignation.

2. Washington Hilton
Right outside the Washington Hilton, President Reagan was shot in the lung at the hand of mentally ill John Hinckley Jr. in 1981 after giving a speech at the hotel. The action was fueled by Hinckley Jr.’s obsession with Jodie Foster. It is thought that he was playing out a scene in Taxi Driver, where a deranged man tried to murder a politician, to win the actress’s character over (we don’t recommend this technique to woo a woman). Needless to say, he was deemed insane and is now in an asylum.

3. Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is known for war-time controversy. Just before the U.S. entered World War II, a British Spy using the name Cynthia used the hotel as a base while spying on the French Vichy Embassy. Considered a swallow — a person who uses sexuality during war-time to gain information — her flirtatious nature worked to her advantage and she was able to access top-secret documents during her stay at the Marriott.

4. The Jefferson
This elite D.C. boutique is named after a founding father with an ignonimious sex life, so it’s only fitting that it was the scene of a salacious modern-day political sex scandal. Strategist Dick Morris resigned in 1996 after a woman claimed he paid her for sex at The Jefferson. The event was made more famous after it was reported that during their rendezvous he sucked her toes, and allowed her to listen in on his phone with President Clinton (we’re hoping not at the same time).

5. The Hay-Adams
One of the oldest and most historical hotels in the District, the Hay-Adams has certainly seen some controversies during its time. The most notorious occurred in 1989 when Carl “Spitz” Channell, known as an extremely conservative right-wing activist, held a fundraiser at the hotel to fund weapons for Nicaraguan rebels. He later pled guilty to charges relating to the Iran-Contra-Affair.

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