Finally! A political scandal GOP and Dems can agree on

Political sex/romantic scandals are often like Rorschach personality tests; no matter what the politician is accused of, the public is rarely unanimous in its condemnation or support. And usually, that support is split along partisan/party lines.

Not this time.


In this Jan. 12, 2015 file photo, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber kisses fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, after he is sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term as Governor in Salem, Ore.
Don Ryan | AP Photo
In this Jan. 12, 2015 file photo, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber kisses fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, after he is sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term as Governor in Salem, Ore.

John Kitzhaber, the man who has been the governor of Oregon for most of the last 20 years, resigned amid allegations that his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, is accused of using her connection to the governor to drum up numerous lucrative jobs for herself. I hesitate slightly to call this a political "sex scandal" because Kitzhaber and Hayes have been a public couple for 12 years and she serves as the state's unpaid first lady. But it still seems like another case of a very popular elected official falling from grace because of his romantic involvement with the wrong woman.

Read MoreOregon Governor resigns amid scandal

The accusations against Hayes and Kitzhaber's lack of desire to do anything about her behavior became so numerous that Hayes had hire a criminal defense attorney earlier this week. Then, the state's leading newspapers and most of Kitzhaber's fellow Democrats started to demand he step down. Political support for the now ex-Governor is nowhere to be found.

Maybe that's because this is the kind of scandal that would bring any of us down had we done the same thing, even in the private sector.

Imagine if we brought our spouses or lovers into our offices and expected our colleagues to help them get nice jobs and contracts?

Okay, I know that probably happens a lot. But think what would happen if our bosses or shareholders found out about it! Most of us would not likely survive.

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Here's a look at five of the top political sex scandals in recent history and whether or not they were career-ending scandals:

5. Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner
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Anthony Weiner

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner clearly had a problem with inappropriate sexual texting and tweeting. The pressure from the scandal and his consistent lies to cover it up finally drove him from office. But he wasn't getting political appointments or jobs for his cyber girlfriends. And that is probably why he was able to raise enough money to run for mayor of New York City in 2013 and probably has a good shot of making a political comeback in a city where liberal politicians always get a second or third chance.

Career-ending scandal? No.
Why? It doesn't appear that he abused the office or its resources.

4. Mark Sanford

Paul J. Richards | AFP | Getty Images

The Congressman and former South Carolina Governor is the exception that proves the rule. Sanford was caught not only having an affair with an Argentine journalist, but he was also censured for using state funds to travel and meet with her. Nevertheless, he was never ousted from office and even won election back to the House of Representatives in 2012. Note to all politicians and CEOs currently involved in illicit affairs and misuse of money: Find out whatever Mark Sanford is drinking.

Career-ending scandal? No.
Why? Absolutely no reason.

3. John Edwards

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.
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Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards.

The former North Carolina Senator's political career was destroyed not just by the revelations that he was carrying on an affair while his wife was battling breast cancer. The real blow came when it became known that his mistress was paid off to keep quiet and one of his top campaign workers was also paid to claim he sired the baby Edwards had actually fathered in the affair. I'm confident in saying John Edwards will never win public office ever again.

Career-ending scandal? Yes.
Why? Excessive dishonesty and abuse of office.

2. Eliot Spitzer

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More New Yorkers may have been willing to forgive then-Governor Eliot Spitzer if it hadn't been for the financial aspects of his prostitution scandal. He didn't use public funds to pay for prostitutes, but the scandal did break when the FBI became suspicious of the possibly illegal ways Spitzer was paying them. All those suspicious payments and wire transfers and the potentially illegal ways Spitzer tried to cover them up, made him too toxic to remain in office.

Career-ending scandal? Yes.
Why? He broke the law – when his job was to uphold the law.

1. Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the CGI 2014 annual meeting in New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the CGI 2014 annual meeting in New York.

President Clinton's sexual encounters with intern Monica Lewinsky didn't result in his ouster from office, but it was close. The country was split in two over whether Mr. Clinton should be removed from office or resign. But most of us ultimately forgave the president; his popularity was near all-time highs when he left office three years after the scandal broke. The lack of a serious financial angle to the scandal helped.

Career-ending scandal? No.
Why? There was no serious financial angle.

So, rejoice America! The Kitzhaber scandal seems to be one of those rare incidents where partisanship isn't clouding the issue.

But in all seriousness, it doesn't make his fall from office any less sad.

Commentary by Jake Novak, supervising producer of "Street Signs." Follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.