Thursday, February 12, 2004

Matt Drudge is reporting that a bimbo eruption is about to hit the John Kerry campaign and that at the very least the Clark and Dean campaigns are somehow in on it.

My feeling is that politicians' infidelities don't affect their ability to govern the country. I don't care whether Kerry was cheating on his wife or not. I imagine that many people feel the same way I do. The argument you can make, though, is that Kerry's alleged infidelities tell us something about his character.

We'll have to find out what the poop is. First of all, Kerry could well be completely innocent. However. If it's a long-term mistress, someone adult and discreet, then it's hard to be too critical. If Kerry is trapped in a loveless marriage and so resorts to another woman, I have no problem. (Though the fact that he married Teresa Heinz fairly recently makes that unlikely.) Or if it was a one-time slip-up, hey, those things happen. If there is a Kennedyesque or Clintonesque string of "incidents", though, then I think it does tell us something negative about his character. And if he lies and gets caught doing it, that's an extremely bad sign.

Maybe, in the future, what Presidential candidates ought to do is confess before their campaign even starts. George W. Bush did that with his drinking problem, and it never became much of an issue. Bringing up yourself what some people might consider a morality problem in your past gets the scene out of the way early and it wins you points for honesty, especially if you can use the "he saw he had a problem so he dealt with it" argument.

There are people who claim that the whole ridiculous circus of an American election campaign is actually a highly useful process. It's a test for the candidates. Candidates are put under massive stress repeatedly. Every last thing about them is questioned and examined and criticized. Their good name is dragged through the mud. They risk committing "the deadly gaffe" every time they speak in public, which they do ten times a day. They're sleeping four hours a night for days on end. He who survives this process becomes President, and at the very least, he's proven he's as psychologically stable enough to do the job as anybody else is.

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