Impact of candidate spouses in the 2008 presidential primary

Robin Abcarian’s story in today’s LA Times provides some insight into the pack of candidates chasing their party’s endorsement for the upcoming presidential election.
In her piece she interjects the addition of “Sex, they say, sells.”

Have voters lowered the bar to such an extreme that you can now walk over it rather than limbo under it? Before the invention of the black and white TV with rabbit ears we placed our focus on the candidates credentials, endorsements, and policy message.
Since that time we elected a handsome charismatic Senator from Mass. named J.F. Kennedy.

In searching for a running mate who would attract female voters, in 1987 the Republicans chose Dan Quail to be on the ticket with George H. W, Bush. And it worked. James Danforth “Dan” Quayle became our nations 44th vice president.

I know of people who bet on horse races simply based on the pony’s name or coloring. However, that horse will not become our president. What has become of our focus on selecting the individual who will eventually become the leader of the largest Democracy in the free world? Devoting parts of three pages in a Sunday addition to list the age difference between the husbands and wives? That’s the crux of the entire Times story.
Let’s see. Robin reports that Dennis Kucinich is 31 years older than his wife Elizabeth. Fred Thompson’s wife Jeri is 24 years younger than him. John McCain’s wife Cindy is 18 years younger. Rudy Giuliani’s is 18 years older than his wife Judith. Barack Obama’s wife Michelle is three years younger than he is.

While the mate’s of our president surely have their ears, the bigger question might be what experience do they have in the political arena? Do they bring something to the table such as Bill Clinton with Hillary?

To me this Times story illustrates that they feel we will be electing a president based on their popularity, charisma, physical appearance of their mates and other less important qualities rather than their message or experience.

This Times report reminds me of one of my sons who supported Gary Hart for President. Yes, it’s true. I do have a son who is a Democrat. That’s what we know as “freedom of choice.” Hopefully he will learn as he grows older that he made a major mistake.

Think about handsome Dem.1988 Presidential candidate Colo. Sen. Gary Hart when he challenged the media to follow him around while he was having an affair with Donna Rice that he flaunted. “Monkey Business,” what a clever name for a yacht, where photos of Gary and Donna were taken and transmitted around the country.
He eventually dropped out to be replaced by Michael Dukakis who lost to the first President Bush.

What do Juice readers feel about the Times story?

Will you cast your Primary candidate selection on the basis that your choice will be based on A’s wife being x years younger than others in the race?

Will your vote be determined by how sexy candidate “B’s” wife may be in relation to candidate “C”?

Should we also include a biography of each candidates mate in considering which “team we are supporting” rather than just the person who will be sworn in to lead this nation?

And lastly. Is the Times story of any relevance to your candidate selection?

About Larry Gilbert