Monday, August 18, 2008

Every Four Years

When you work in Presidential politics there are people who work with you every four years but it is likely you will never see them in between campaigns. Relationships with these people are as simple as they are complicated. For example, the only baggage they bring to the political game is how they operated in the last campaign—which was four years before. Were they generous, loving, and sympathetic (none of these matter), or were they efficient, have good gut, and make difficult but productive decisions – these could get you a job in a new Administration.

At the same time that you are inseparable 24/7, you don’t necessarily know anything about their real lives. You may know if someone has a spouse and children, but that’s not a given because it’s not important within the context of the campaign, (unless there is something that impacts on the day to day political operation, like a kid has a birthday or a wife has a baby and the player needs to be away from HQ) Anyway, a strange thing happens and you start to live like the only people in your life are the campaign people—you don’t have much time for anything else. You can guess what that means. Yes, they live like the only people who are important in their day to day, are the campaign folks. And they often have affairs, (which are not catered). And we are now finding that some Candidates have also gone astray. (Campaigns are not a healthy place for people who want to stay nice).

Today I was wondering what the political players must be thinking about the Candidate Forum last Saturday. I wonder if, when the Reverend asked the question about morals and what the Candidates had done in their lives that they felt was just not up to what they would consider acceptable moral standards, the staff took a deep breath and prayed the answers would be more acceptable than some candidate actions Barack Obama talked about trying drugs when he was young and John McCain talked about his choices in Viet Nam. Neither mentioned any marital infidelity.

My guess is that Obama has not cheated on his wife (she would have killed him and we would not have a candidate), where we know John McCain certainly did. Is fidelity important for a nations leader. In France the citizens don’t care. In Italy there is only trouble if the wife finds out—the voter is irrelevant. I’m not sure what the standards are in Africa, and in the Middle East they just keep marrying everyone – or is that Utah? Anyway, it’s supposed to be different here. (This is not a judgment I'm merely the blobber).

Here’s what I found so interesting. The Pastor, Rick Warren was interviewed about whether he thought that it was possible for Elizabeth Edwards to forgive John. Warren said he thought Elizabeth could forgive John— forgiving someone was Christian and important. (As a Jew I feel a little left out – what else is new). But he also said that it would take a long time for her to trust him again, if ever she could. Mr. Edwards would have to earn her trust. Forgiveness and trust were two different things. John McCain cheated on his first wife, but in answering the question he felt his Viet Nam decisions were more important and worth mentioning. But not his marital infidelity. Whew! I guess my question is, if cheating on his wife was not worth mentioning, can we trust that if he is not faithful to the American people, that will not be worth mentioning either. It’s just a question and I mean it in the nicest possible way. We're just sayin...


Anonymous said...

Actually, McCain did answer that his highest moral failing was the failure of his first marriage. He didn't add that he ran around on his wife but I'm sure most people assumed that to be the case. she was also very ill, at the time, I think. The event might have beenmore "authentic" ( a buzzword that means not much) if it had been held in the pastor's study and not in front of an audience.


Anonymous said...

Great food for thought...with so many spots that spark a chuckle....greatly needed chuckles, I might add. Keep 'em coming!