…why isn’t the same true for the immediate marital history of a certain Democratic nominee? That was the question recently posed by the Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto. Sensing a double standard, Taranto writes:
If the marital lives of a presidential candidate’s great- and great-great-grandparents are a legitimate topic of journalistic inquiry, what about the marital lives of presidential candidates themselves? We have in mind a particular candidate, who, without naming any names, is now the junior senator from New York and the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Based on her public actions–remaining married to her husband and publicly defending him despite his infidelity–one may wonder if this is a “polyamorous” marriage (polyamory essentially consisting of polygamy without commitment). It may also be that this has devolved into essentially a marriage of convenience–that the senator believes she is better positioned to realize her political ambitions if she remains legally bound to her husband, who is very popular at least within his own party.
Marriage and the personal lives of presidential candidates are tricky, often uncomfortable subjects. While I’m quite certain that EFM and its readers have little desire to turn the ’08 race into a endless cycle of personal attacks, I’m also convinced that we must acknowledge and accept the realities of modern politics. Almost anything is fair game. And that’s fine, provided that that standard is applied to every candidate, regardless of party. If Governor Romney’s family history is worthy of a lengthy Associated Press story then the same must be true for Clinton, Obama and Edwards–not to mention Giuliani and McCain.
But ultimately, I think the Washington Post story that Taranto cites was a signal to the Clinton camp that it and the rest of the mainstream media are eager her to join her in the “fight” to keep the “impeachment” taboo.