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Marriage and Politics [Democrats better spouses, Republicans better leaders]
American Thinker ^ | 5-1-07 | Bookworm

Posted on 05/01/2007 7:36:04 PM PDT by SJackson

It was only a matter of time before Democratic politicians (as opposed to just late night talk show hosts) began commenting on the fact that the leading Republican candidates have an awful lot of ex-wives floating around.  Although he's carefully vague, one has to assume that, when Howard Dean said of Rudy Giuliani that "His personal life is a serious problem for him," he was talking about Giuliani's two ex-wives (not to mention his sordid divorce so that he could marry his current wife), his third wife's ex-husbands, and his son's disdain for the whole marriage-go-round.

Many of the other Republican candidates don't look so good either when it comes to managing their private lives.  John McCain is on wife number two and may have started his relationship with her while still married to wife number one (although since his first wife and children have forgiven him, surely we should too).  Fred Thompson is likewise on wife number two, and many people will either be envious of or put off by the fact that his second wife is significantly younger than he is.  Newt Gingrich also boasts a spotty marital history, marred by the popular (but untrue) belief that he served divorce papers on his first wife while she was hospitalized for cancer treatments.  And as with Thompson, Gingrich's current wife (his third) is a much younger woman.  Of the leading names on the Republican side, only Mitt Romney has a clean marital record, having been married to the same woman for 38 years (a commitment that may well have been helped by the fact that, just as he is an extremely handsome man, so too is his wife a very beautiful woman).

In striking contrast to the Republicans, the Democratic frontrunners can boast that they have many fewer marriages between them.  Hillary Clinton's marriage, despite its manifest peculiarities, has lasted 32 years.  One can wonder what kept her with a compulsive womanizer for so long, but the fact is that she took her marriage vows seriously, and she and Bill are still together.  Barack Obama also has a good track record (aided perhaps by the fact that he's younger than the other candidates, so hasn't had as much time to get into trouble).  He and his wife have been together 15 years.  John Edwards, he of the beautiful hair, has been married to Elizabeth for 30 years.  Al Gore and Tipper have been married 37 years.

Usually, when faced with these numbers (both years of marriage and number of spouses), the discussion wanders off into rants about hypocrisy.  As in "It's hypocritical for conservatives to divorce."  Or, "It's hypocritical for a feminist such as Hillary to put up with a rampant womanizer."  As for the first argument, I don't know that any of these much-married conservative candidates have ever advocated the end of divorce, and I'm sure all would agree, with themselves as terrible examples, that stable family relationships are good things.  As for the second argument, Hillary's private decisions about love, family and (one assumes) political expediency are hers alone, and should not be used against her in a hypocrisy argument.  As the Victorians used to say, "Who knows the mysteries of the human heart?"

I actually would approach this whole marriage thing another way, and (unsurprisingly to those who know my biases) it's a way that favors the Democrats as spouses, and the Republicans as leaders.  I have no doubt but that the Democrats - by which I really mean the male Democratic candidates - are much nicer husbands than the caddish Republicans.  I'm sure that, in dealing with their beloved wives, they're sensitive and thoughtful.  They like to talk about their feelings and, in turn, they're willing to listen when their wives talk about their own feelings.  When there's a big decision to be made in the family, these men make sure that their wives are full partners in the decision-making.  They're probably just dreamy husbands. 

The question, though, is whether those dreamy spousal qualities are what we want in a President.  That is, do we really want a President who will sit for hours listening to people in the Oval Office, whether employees, Congress people, or foreign leaders, sharing their feelings, while periodically chiming in with his own recitation of emotional moments?  Do we want someone who would never be rude enough to end a discussion and simply make a judgment call?  Is it appropriate for the leader of the most powerful nation in the world always to take feelings into account when he makes a decision? 

I get uncomfortable when I think of our Commander-in-Chief sensitively opining that "I'm worried that it will hurt Kim Jong-Il feelings if we increase sanctions against him for going ahead with his weapon's program."  Equally awful would be our emotionally open leader reminding his Cabinet team that "You have to understand that Ahmadinejad is throwing out these nuclear threats against Israel because he feels humiliated by their technological sophistication, despite their nation's small size.  And he's short.  We should cut him a lot of slack because it's understandable that his psyche responds negatively to these wounds."

You can see why, when I think of an ideal personality for an American president, I don't think of a New Age sensitive man.  Instead, I think of someone who has strong political principles; who is willing to make tough calls ("the buck stops here"); and who does what he thinks is right, not what will make people like him. 

These same leadership qualities, of course, tend to make for lousy modern-day husbands.  They might have worked in a pre-modern era, when the husband was the head of his home, just as the President is the executive in charge of his country, but they work very badly in today's world, where husbands and wives are expected to be partners. 

No modern woman worth her salt is going to be happy in a relationship with someone who is pretty darn sure he knows what's right; who is more interested in the big picture (his ideas about family economics, personal job security, etc.) than in what makes her happy; and who doesn't care if his decisions ultimately rub her, and everyone in the neighborhood or family, the wrong way, as long as he thinks they're the right decisions.  In other words, partnership and leadership are not the same things, and they call for very different qualities.  Someone who succeeds in the first arena may be precisely what we don't need in the second one.

So feel free to consider the candidates' personal lives when you're contemplating casting your vote for one or another, whether in the primaries or in the Presidential election itself.  Just remember that, merely because one candidate is a devoted husband may not make him a powerful leader (and Americans wisely like strong leaders during times of crisis), while the fact that another candidate is a difficult spouse, although not indicative of his ability to partner sensitively (which is a luxury for peace time), may nevertheless prove the more important fact that he can lead well during a crisis.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/01/2007 7:36:12 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

Interesting, as well as true. But I’m not sure what to say. ;) (Being a girl and all)


2 posted on 05/01/2007 7:44:24 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: SJackson

Huh? Dems better spouses ?? Well you must not be talking about adultery where they reign supreme.


3 posted on 05/01/2007 7:48:24 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: EagleUSA

I’d rather love a good guy with all of his faults than marry someone who was in love with himself, not with me.
Better to walk away from a bad situation than stay in one.
That having been said, I have ZERO respect for people stupid enough to procreate and unable to stay with the program.
Marriage rocks!


4 posted on 05/01/2007 7:58:47 PM PDT by acapesket (never had a vote count in all my years here)
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To: sageb1

Probably more like the Republican’s discovered they were married to DEMOCRATS!!! While Democrats....married to another Democrat see no problems....


5 posted on 05/01/2007 8:00:15 PM PDT by goodnesswins (We need to cure Academentia)
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To: goodnesswins

lol! That must be it.


6 posted on 05/01/2007 8:01:58 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: SJackson
Just who said these creeps were the "front runners," anyway? The liberal media, who will tear them to shreds if they get nominated. None of us have decided they are the front runners.
7 posted on 05/01/2007 8:03:05 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney (My book is out. Read excerpts at http://www.thejusticecooperative.com)
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To: goodnesswins

A couple is supposed to “grow” together. Dems never mature or become wiser. I never could figure out Mary Matalin and James Carville.


8 posted on 05/01/2007 8:05:32 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: JoeFromSidney; sageb1; EagleUSA; acapesket; goodnesswins

Dennis Kucinich, dem, and Wife #3.

Strange looking pair.

MySpace--The Next First Lady, Elizabeth Kucinich!

9 posted on 05/01/2007 8:08:45 PM PDT by SJackson (Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die, R. Garroway, UNWRA director, 8/58)
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To: SJackson

Are they suggesting that hillary’s marriage is a great success?


10 posted on 05/01/2007 8:13:10 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SJackson

Some people just have no taste....


11 posted on 05/01/2007 8:15:04 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: SJackson

eeeiiiuuuuwwww

So, ugly little Kucinich is married to an attractive moonbat.


12 posted on 05/01/2007 8:15:07 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: SJackson

Is this a joke?


13 posted on 05/01/2007 8:15:19 PM PDT by Saundra Duffy (Mitt Romney for President !!!)
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To: sageb1

Yes.....I know what you mean......Matalin and Carville do NOT make sense to me.....one of them is putting on a show...or maybe both....


14 posted on 05/01/2007 8:15:35 PM PDT by goodnesswins (We need to cure Academentia)
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To: Saundra Duffy; Cicero

I didn’t right it, but I think there’s a bit of satire at work here. Subtle.


15 posted on 05/01/2007 8:17:57 PM PDT by SJackson (Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die, R. Garroway, UNWRA director, 8/58)
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To: EagleUSA

Clinton and Lewinsky, Kennedy and Monroe, Bobby and Monroe, Hart and Rice, McGreevey and Cipel, Conduit and Levy...


16 posted on 05/01/2007 8:18:30 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: SJackson
HA! Some of the Republicans in the public eye may not be, but overall, I would NEVER marry a bleeding heart Democrat. Ever! They make terrible husbands. Republicans, or rather conservatives, which in cases are very close, make the best husbands and wives. Look at Clinton!
17 posted on 05/01/2007 8:19:06 PM PDT by gidget7 (2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:)
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To: SJackson

Yikes! Jackson. Looking at that picture, I find it surprising he landed ONE never mind three!


18 posted on 05/01/2007 8:23:22 PM PDT by gidget7 (2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:)
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To: SJackson

Interesting. I would take it to mean that the Republican first wives had the courage and self respect to leave, unlike the “liberated” democrat wives.


19 posted on 05/01/2007 8:23:30 PM PDT by lawgirl (She comes on like thunder and she's more right than rain)
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To: sageb1

He looks like he could flap his ears and fly away. She looks like she would follow on a broom.


20 posted on 05/01/2007 8:26:22 PM PDT by dan1123 (You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Jesus)
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To: lawgirl
Interesting. I would take it to mean that the Republican first wives had the courage and self respect to leave, unlike the “liberated” democrat wives.

It's a silly topic, but one in the news and when it comes to Rudy and Newt, the rage on FR.

Hillary, she wasn't about to give up a good thing. The Gores, the Edwards, pretty typical, like the Bushes

21 posted on 05/01/2007 8:27:47 PM PDT by SJackson (Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die, R. Garroway, UNWRA director, 8/58)
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To: SJackson

They look like characters from the “Rings” trilogy. Is that you, Bilbo?


22 posted on 05/01/2007 8:39:19 PM PDT by madison10
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To: SJackson

I don’t believe this. I have lots of Republican friends, and a few Democrats. Out of the democrats, very few are on their first spouses, and most of the pubbies are.


23 posted on 05/01/2007 8:45:22 PM PDT by I still care ("Remember... for it is the doom of men that they forget" - Merlin, from Excalibur)
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To: EagleUSA

Yeah : )


24 posted on 05/01/2007 8:46:52 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! Or Rudy/Hillary if you want to murder conservatism)
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To: SJackson

Best spouses and girlfriends are apolitical or moderate.


25 posted on 05/01/2007 8:48:32 PM PDT by Clemenza (NO to Rudy in 2008! New York's Values are NOT America's Values! RUN FRED RUN!)
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To: SJackson
Saw them in the movie "300".

He’s the Ephor (”diseased old mystics”) that greets Leonidas at the mountain top and she’s the drugged out dancing oracle.

26 posted on 05/01/2007 9:05:02 PM PDT by Diplomat
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To: SJackson

Weird and Weirdress.


27 posted on 05/01/2007 10:32:16 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...call 'em what you will...They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: SJackson

How about John F-ing Kerry?


28 posted on 05/01/2007 11:25:15 PM PDT by Shethink13
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To: SJackson

Duncan Hunter is still with the only woman he has said “I do” to.


29 posted on 05/02/2007 3:01:25 AM PDT by bushfamfan (DUNCAN HUNTER FOR PRES. IN 2008)
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To: JoeFromSidney

That is naturally the way of things with the Republican candidate. Yes, we are so fortunate to have an unbiased press. /s BTW, did you know there is a fine candidate by the name of Duncan Hunter who is also in the race?!


30 posted on 05/02/2007 3:03:53 AM PDT by bushfamfan (DUNCAN HUNTER FOR PRES. IN 2008)
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To: SJackson

That is because most the Rat men seem and act like women.


31 posted on 05/02/2007 5:56:45 AM PDT by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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