Political Forgiveness

Tomorrow’s Super Tuesday election got me thinking about how I sometimes take politician’s failings personally.

In the fall of 1987, I had an awesome, trophy-winning speech about politics and deception of the American public. This speech was centered around the hubris of Gary Hart, daring the press to follow him because he wasn’t a womanizer. In case you weren’t paying attention to politics back then, the press did follow him and caught him cheating.

Gary Hart

Then, he had the nerve of getting back into the race! That killed my speech. I never forgave him for that, especially after he floundered in New Hampshire and Super Tuesday. Had he stayed out, I would have had an awesome ride on that speech throughout the tournament year.

The only other time I felt such a personal affront from a politician was Jonathan Edwards.

John Edwards

He was the golden boy of the Democratic Party. A North Carolina senator, a former highly successful product liability lawyer, he was both a Vice Presidential candidate and a top candidate for that top spot. His progressive message was one that resonated with a lot of people, including me. He was the first politician whose campaign I ever donated to. Very shortly thereafter, it was revealed that he had cheated on his wife, Elizabeth, who was undergoing cancer treatments at the time. I felt personally insulted by his actions – he’d been to the rodeo before and knew his every action was under the microscope but thought he could get away with it. I wanted my money back.

Why can’t politicians keep it in their pants? JFK is well known for his conquests, and Bill Clinton’s actions are still haunting Hillary’s campaign all these years later. I must admit, though, I am enjoying the new trend at the Mea Culpa press conferences: Some big named wives have refused to stand on the podium next to their cheating husbands. Jenny Sandford, wife of former governor Mark Sandford, wasn’t there. And Elizabeth Edwards was not at her husband’s side either. Good for them.

Can you tell that all the political weirdness of this presidential campaign is getting to me? Or Has anyone else ever felt personally offended by a public figures actions?

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