CHUTZPAH WATCH…. It’s no doubt difficult to make the transition from popular politician to scandal-plagued punch-line, but some former members of Congress need to know when to stay away. (via Blue Girl)

New York political observers have wondered lately whether (yes, disgraced) former congressman Vito Fossella might be contemplating a comeback to public service.

Fossella sure has been looking the part of interested potential political candidate. In the past week or so, he has attended an area Lincoln Day Dinner, read to school children in his district — complete with a photo-op — and participated in the opening of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign office.

Fossella, a married conservative from Staten Island whose early morning drunk driving arrest last year unraveled the secret of his mistress and love child and led to the demise of his political career, did not seek reelection because of his scandal.

Fossella was replaced with Rep. Mike McMahon (D), who seems to be doing well in his first term. But even if McMahon were struggling, the notion that Fossella should mount a comeback is kind of silly.

This isn’t complicated: conservative Republican + lurid extra-marital affair + secret love child + DUI + jail time + frequent lies = limited electoral viability. A good story for a melodrama? Sure. A good story for a disgraced congressman thinking about a comeback? Not so much.

Asked whether Fossella should run for his old seat, a House Republican political strategist tells the Washington Post, “We’re taking [Fossella] at his word” that he won’t run again.

I almost hope Fossella does run. I’d love to hear his explanation for his behavior.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.