Just hours after securing the GOP's nomination for California's Senate seat, Carly Fiorina was caught on an open microphone poking fun at her opponent's hair. "God, what is that hair?" Fiorina said of Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer's locks. "So yesterday."
Minutes before President Obama made history by signing into law his health care overhaul legislation, his No. 2 had some choice words to describe the moment: "This is a big f---ing deal!" Vice President Joe Biden told his boss over an open microphone.
Former California state lawmaker Michael Duvall resigned in 2009 after an open mike picked up sexually explicit comments about his extramarital affairs with two women -- one a lobbyist. The illicit details, which included remarks about "spanking," were made to a fellow committee member minutes before the state legislature convened.
Prior to a July 2008 interview on Fox News, an open mike caught the Rev. Jesse Jackson criticizing President Obama for "talking down to black people." Jackson, turning to another guest, whispered "I want to cut his nuts out."
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown came under fire in April after the microphone he was wearing caught him speaking about his exchange with a 66-year-old widow he had met minutes before on a residential street in Rochdale, England. As his motorcade drove away, Brown is heard describing the encounter as a "disaster" before calling the voter, who was concerned about immigration from Eastern Europe, a "bigoted woman."
Attention, politicians: Beware of the open mike. From sexually explicit details about an extramarital affair to petty remarks on an opponent's hairstyle, politicians big and small have been embarrassed -- and sometimes disgraced -- by not-for-air comments caught on "hot" microphones.