I feel the need to put another brief twist to this business about marital infidelity and its emergence as an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.
For starters, Donald J. Trump’s assertion that Hillary Clinton’s husband’s transgressions disqualify her for high office is ludicrous on its face. Bill Clinton made a mistake in the late 1990s. He got impeached for it; the Senate thought better about tossing him out of office and acquitted him of the charges brought against him.
Hillary’s role? She became the aggrieved wife of the nation’s foremost politician.
OK, but that entire episode spurred another kind of politician.
This was the guy who would boast on the campaign stump, in TV ads, on printed material about how he is faithful to his wife.
“Elect me!” he would say. “I’m a loving husband and devoted father. I believe in the traditional concept of marriage.”
I never could stop wondering: Since when does staying faithful to your sacred marital vows become a bragging point?
Oh, and yes, this kind of phony fealty to marriage does get politicians into some serious trouble. Do you remember former Sen. John Edwards, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate who ran with Sen. John Kerry in 2004? I recall Edwards boasting of his love for his late wife, Elizabeth, while he was cavorting with Rielle Hunter … and with whom he brought a daughter into the world.
It’s all so much crap.