Politicians Who Completely Lost It On Camera

If you think rock stars, actors, and billionaire tech inventors have to constantly watch over their shoulders, well, imagine being a politician. Sure, every celebrity "enjoys" the occasional tabloid headline, but politicians spend every day under the world's biggest microscope. It's hard enough to please the people who voted for you, but you've also got to please the folks who hate your guts. The pressure is high. The ballot box is unforgiving. Politics ain't easy.

So much of successful politickin' is about planning ahead, measuring your every move, and never, ever messing up. But we're all human, so it's not too shocking when your local mayor, senator, or prime minister goes off the deep end. When that happens, the results aren't pretty ... especially if the cameras are rolling. From wailing sobs, homophobic outbursts, and drug confessions to actual fistfights, here are some serious politicians who failed to hold it together.

Nothing wrong with a little egg in the face ... or is there?

If you want to get into politics, you should probably have a thick skin. Eggs, by their nature, are thin-skinned. They break easily, especially when they're pelted at someone's head. Unfortunately for British Prime Minister John Prescott, the gooey yellow yolk that ran down his face back in 2001 was more than he could handle. Rather than just wiping the egg off and carrying on, Prescott responded by literally punching the eggy protester — a 29-year-old countryside contractor named Craig Evans, according to the Telegraph. Once the crowd got involved, the whole thing became a full-out brawl. 

Needless to say, this wasn't a good look for Mr. Prescott, and not just because he had egg yolk on his face. Prescott and his spokesman tried to argue that the deputy prime minister was just defending himself, but ... well, c'mon. According to the Independent, the whole incident was such a PR disaster that it almost scrambled the entire party's bid for reelection. Surprisingly enough, they managed to turn it around, thanks to some crafty rhetoric from Prime Minister Tony Blair. Nonetheless, locals still remember the fight to this day, and usually refer to it as the "Rumble in Rhyl," after the location where it occurred.

When a neo-Nazi Greek politician flipped out on morning TV

In May 2012, one of the new politicians elected to the Greek parliament was Ilias Kasidiaris, a representative of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party. Only a month later, Kasidiaris appeared on a popular morning talk show, according to CNN. When a debate opponent accused the Golden Dawn party of trying to take Greece back 500 years, Kasidiaris responded by childishly throwing a glass of water at her. Standing up, he then slapped another woman three times — on live TV, don't forget — until he was pulled away. Once the show cut to commercial, he fled the scene.

Kasidiaris' response? When he finally vented on Facebook about the incident, according to Reuters, he said he was going to sue his victims, claiming they'd manipulated him into reacting in such an extreme manner. This insane blowup was hardly Kasidiaris' only legal explosion: Two years later, International Business Times wrote that he'd been jailed for illegal firearm possession. Most recently, in 2017, the Times of Israel reported that he'd finally been convicted for hate speech, as well as inciting supporters to violence, with a suspended sentence of six months.

James Traficant goes on a bizzarro rant about bras

Okay, so Ohio congressman James Traficant was a pretty "out there" politician, and we're not just talking about either his bell bottoms or his hairstyle, a toupee which he once jokingly suggested was styled with a weed whacker. Fashion aside, the history books will probably remember Traficant as the guy who got booted from Congress in 2002 by a nearly unanimous vote. He was then convicted on counts of bribery, racketeering, and corruption, and he spent seven years in prison before dying in 2014.

Those who used to watch Traficant on TV, though, will always remember him for the many bizarre rants that emerged from him on the floor, including statements about how he wanted to be "promiscuous" with Playboy bunnies, or frequent requests for Scotty to beam him up. Perhaps his most infamous speech of all, as recorded by C-Span, was when he went on a long diatribe about training bras, push-up bras, and WonderBras, only to culminate with a totally insane reference to a bra with a gun holster and the suggestion that it might lead to a Stinger missile bra. Following that coup, he advised young men not to take women to drive-in movies anymore. Because that was a really common occurrence in 2001.

The Ukrainian Parliament erupts

Every party host in the world knows when you put a bunch of people with different opinions in the same room, fights might break out. Usually politicians restrict themselves to harsh words rather than knuckle sandwiches, but back in 2015, Ukraine's upper house of parliament blew up like a volcano. According to the Telegraph, the inciting issue was very genuine concern regarding rampant corruption in the Ukrainian government, causing at least a thousand protesters to surround the building. As Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk spoke from the podium, a man from the opposition party walked up, handed him a bouquet of roses, and then attempted to carry him away, literally picking him up off the floor. Yatsenyuk resisted, holding the podium for leverage, until backup arrived.

That's when everyone jumped in and started throwing punches, showing that even a room full of guys in fancy dress suits can turn into a schoolyard dogpile within minutes.

Rob Ford's many videotaped missteps

Rob Ford tragically died of cancer in 2016, according to CNN, but his time as mayor of Toronto will be remembered for the numerous scandals that occurred, as his struggles with addiction propelled him onto the worldwide stage. 

After campaigning as a working-class "anti-politician," Ford was first elected mayor in 2010. A few years later, his reputation went spinning out of control when a video emerged showing him smoking crack. Yes, literally. According to Vice, this was followed by a year's worth of scandalous videos and reports. At one point, Ford was caught swearing in an offensive imitation of Jamaican patois, and on other days he was hanging out with drug dealers, admitting to self-proclaimed "druken stupors," or daring women to take triple shots. Everything kept piling up, and Ford finally agreed to spend two months in rehab. He eventually abandoned his 2014 reelection campaign, not due to the outrage, but because he was diagnosed with the malignant liposarcoma that would take his life in 2016.

Throughout his tenure as mayor, Ford was seen in numerous damaging videos, but perhaps the worst one came in November 2013 when the Toronto Star obtained the now-infamous footage of a drunken Ford shouting violent and profane death threats at an unknown person. Ford publicly apologized for this, but the footage never went away. 

This guy is insanely sensitive about other guys touching his arm

Back in 2017, according to the Washington Post, Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe attended a run-of-the-mill state government committee meeting, where the pros and cons of a land use bill were being debated. Yawn, right? 

Well, as the topic was discussed, Metcalfe's colleague Matt Bradford signified to Metcalfe that he understood his concerns, and lightly touched his arm. Apparently this friendly gesture was too intense for straight-laced Daryl, who completely obliterated the meeting with a pointless, homophobic tirade about how he was a heterosexual who loved his wife, and that he didn't want to be touched again. Um, okay? Metcalfe then accused of Bradford of being gay, and told him to go touch people on his "side of the aisle." Metcalfe's ridiculously over-the-top, discriminatory ranting was hard for the other committee members to even believe, much less take seriously. But Metcalfe was quite serious, and many people soon called for his resignation. Honestly, it's hard to imagine how the guy even survives in the world. If a small arm pat offends him that deeply, is he even capable of shaking men's hands or bumping shoulders in an elevator?

Ryutaro Nonomura's weeping, hysterical 'apology'

It sucks to get caught in a lie, but it's even more embarrassing when you start screaming and crying about it. In 2014, ABC News reported that Japanese assemblyman Ryutaro Nonomura had been caught misusing public funds for his own private travel. How bad was the damage? Try 3 million yen, which was roughly equivalent to 30,000 USD. Ouch. Apparently this wasn't illegal, per se, but it isn't the sort of thing constituents are happy about.

Nonomura held a press conference about the whole thing, but rather than quietly resign, he instead burst into tears, banged his fists, and wailed in a manner that adults normally don't do ... you know, unless hordes of zombies are busting down the door. Since no zombies were present, the awkwardness of Nonomura's response made it the perfect target for an online meme, usually referred to as "Ryutaro Nonomura's Crying Apology," which was reported by everyone from the Independent to Kotaku. The meme's name is pretty generous, though, since Nonomura didn't actually apologize for his actions: He basically just told everyone they didn't understand. Correct! Your constituents do not understand why you are wailing instead of apologizing.

Tom O'Mara didn't like those questions

Being an elected official means talking to your constituents, no matter how difficult, annoying, or uncomfortable that might be. Them's the breaks. Sometimes, though, these encounters aren't so pleasant. For example, back in 2015, New York state Senator Tom O'Mara and his wife were sitting in his car in a parking lot. Suddenly, an unidentified man leaned into O'Mara's window and started questioning the politician's support for a liquefied petroleum gas storage facility near Seneca Lake. Unknown to O'Mara, he was being videotaped.

According to Times Union, the exchange took a while to get heated, but tension was in the air. The straw that broke the camel's back was apparently when the cameraman sarcastically said "That's interesting," in response to O'Mara's wife declaring they loved the area in question, at which point O'Mara burst out into a 40-second stream of profanities. When the video went online, O'Mara apologized for his language, but also stated that he felt threatened by the way the man leaned into his car while he and his wife were in a dimly lit parking lot. That might have made more sense if they hadn't been talking civilly for several minutes before the outburst.

Scott Wagner 'in action'

Politicians aren't action heroes ... well, other than Arnold Schwarzenegger and maybe Teddy Roosevelt, but you get the idea. Unfortunately, nobody told that to Pennsylvania state Senator Scott Wagner. 

According to the York Daily Record, Wagner was giving a private speech at a local country club — the kind of place where usually the most dramatic event of the day is someone sullying a perfectly white napkin — when he noticed a cameraman in the back. Wagner (accurately) accused the guy of being an opposition operative trying to film him saying something unflattering, and told him to leave. Now, it's admittedly kind of shady that Wagner didn't want to be filmed: To put it bluntly, is there something he's telling his wealthy country club followers that he doesn't want regular people to hear? Putting speculation aside, Wagner did have the right to kick out the cameraman, since the country club is private property, and that's the law. What Wagner probably shouldn't have done was proclaim "You're about to see your senator in action," march forward with his chest puffed out, and then confiscate the cameraman's equipment. While no one was badly hurt, it's not cool to steal, Senator.

When the Taiwanese parliament threw chairs at each other

According to Vox, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan doesn't take politics lightly: When conversations get too heated, fists come out. Bizarre as that sounds, the Taiwanese parliament has a reputation for wacky (and violent) hijinks, ranging from a deputy shoving a proposal into her mouth to egg-throwing fights that would make John Prescott blush. The brawl seen above, which happened in 2017, is one of the most notable. Not only did all those politicians throw punches at each other, but they also blew air horns, hit each other with chairs, and tossed water balloons. It's like the world's angriest birthday party.

Should other countries start doing extravagant battles instead of debates, shouting matches, or filibusters? You be the judge. As far as what these guys and gals were fighting about, well, the answer is surprisingly mundane: It was an infrastructure spending bill, which certain members believed unfairly prioritized cities that supported the ruling party. Water balloons for all!

Howard Dean's infamous yell

Say what you will about former President George W. Bush, but back in 2004, he had some serious PR issues. Resentment regarding the weird ending of the 2000 election merged with outrage over the war in Iraq, and as the next election loomed over Bush's shoulder, he was faced with a rising star named Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont. As the Democratic primary kicked off, Dean was surging in the polls, according to Esquire. Pundits were ready for him to be the next president. But then ... uh, something weird happened in Iowa. During a rousing campaign speech, Dean let out a cartoonishly enthusiastic yelp (battle cry? yowl?) of excitement.

Okay, was it goofy? Yes. Uncomfortable to listen to? For sure. And considering how unforgiving politics can be, it's not a surprise that the so-called "Dean Scream" went viral. But to be fair, all the hubbub caused by the Dean Scream was definitely overblown, and it's silly how so many people viewed this incident as basically disqualifying him from the presidential race. Nonetheless, jokes and memes about the scream continue to this day. Never forget.