Does it count as a farewell speech if no one comes out to see it? Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada apologized Monday for having an extramarital affair with a former aide to an almost empty Senate chamber. Ensign announced last month he would be resigning effective May 3, making Monday his last day in the Senate. Ensign confessed to having the affair with Cynthia Hampton in June 2009, a former member of his campaign staff, and during the scandal, his parents reportedly provided Hampton with $96,000 “gift” and helped Hampton’s husband find a lobbying job. The Senate has since opened an investigation into his actions. Ensign said Monday he hoped he would be remembered by his legislative career rather than the scandal. Only Ensign’s family, friends, and staffers turned out for the speech, with one being spotted wiping tears, although Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware was seen writing remarks on a separate matter during the speech.
FAREWELL Lauren Victoria Burke / AP Photo, Lauren Victoria Burke