That might’ve mattered years ago, not so much today, and that they were married for almost 3 decades does tend to count for something. As I’ve mused on many times, DC is a terrible place for married couples (worse if they have children) to be, at least those married prior to their spouses being in politics. The pre-DC wives tend to get sick of it real fast, because the men have to decide whether they want their career or to go back home (a demand Bob Dole’s first wife made). Before long, many of them end up in affairs with their staffers or even marrying them after divorcing wife #1.
I’m often bemused by some running for Congress showing off their nice families, as so many have no idea what they’re in for. You’re better off going there single, and if you’re lucky, you’ll marry someone “in the biz” that shares similar interests (and even better, if they work in their office to keep an eye on hubby). ;-)
Politically, you are right that for most of the electorate this ceased to be an issue years ago. But character does ultimately matter. I agree that when deciding between lesser evils, or even lesser goods, this might not be a deciding factor—but it is telling.
In the end, if it is a choice between family and career, the man who chooses career is wrong, and that flaw will usually tell, even in subtle ways. Your observation may also help to explain why, in Reagan’s words (whom my mother agonized over voting for because of this very issue) once our people get to DC they cease to be our people.
You are right that nearly 30 years does count for something—but home wrecking is a big thing, and late 20’s is old enough to know better. How much the character has changed—who knows? Certainly not me.
Still almost certainly better than the Dem, but if it were my district I would still hope for someone better.