The Private Lives of Presidential Candidates and Your Vote

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. earllogjam

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    How much does a candidate’s conduct and history of their personal and private life influence your vote? How much of the politician’s family and private life, outside of any professional or political accomplishments, do you take into account when voting?

    I came across this article regarding the dysfunctional families of Rudy Guiliani and Hillary Clinton and wondered if the personal lives of candiates really matter in influencing how people vote. It brings up another interesting point of discussion of where the line is between a candidate's right to privacy and the public's need to know and why should the personal life of an elected official be important to voters. Why do we need to know?


    Rudy, Hillary and their Dysfunctional Families - News Bloggers
     
  2. CUBE

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    Interesting quetion. I never gave a shit that Bill C was fucking some chick on the side. It was just the fact it was on company time. Also, so long as they don't say "Gays suck" then fuck guys on the side. No one will be perfect. There are a few with certian religous ties that I don't think could make a seperation between church and state very well. I guess the part of a public life is that you accept, in these times, that you don't really get privacy when you go for the tip top job.
     
  3. Osiris

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    It really doesn't influence my vote. A lot of people want various things from their politicians and they usually have nothing to do with the actual job they are being elected to. I recall the biggext pieces of political hypocracy involves Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

    Jimmy Carter:

    Problem: Budget and deficit were way out of control when he took office.

    Solution: President Carter did away the expensive glamour. Instead of limos, politicians were in chauffered LTDs. State dinners were not as glitzy and a lot fewer.

    Public response: Carter was hated by the populous for making us appear to be a "poor" world power.

    Ronald Reagan:

    Problem: The US had a deplorable foreign relations abroad and needed to reaffirm our place in the Super Power system.

    Solution: Inviting dignitaries to the White House for State Dinners, invite his Hollywood A List friends and have the First Lady commission new White House china and renovate certain sections of the White House for this task.

    Public response: In short, outrage. How could the First Lady spend so much on china when there was no public health care, poverty was at an all time high, and big business was winning out over the common man.

    It was these early lessons in fickle public approval that taught me to look at the job they've done and have to do rather than their private lives or how they live them.

    Final note: Carter is revered now as a peacemaker and visionary for his efforts while in office to curtail political spending and Reagan will always be remembered for doing more for foreign relations than any of his predecessors. Again, funny how things go.
     
  4. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    I read that article before.

    If I were to vote, cantidates' personal lives would hold only a small sway over my vote. I really don't care that Hillary's marriage might be on the rocks or for appearances only. I never cared that George Bush was an alcoholic 20 or 30 years ago. I think the number of divorces that Giuliani has been through does show some poor judgment... though I don't hold it too strongly against him. Everyone is entitled to a few mistakes. I might also heft an eyebrow or two if I saw a cantidate saying one thing to advance their political career or agenda and saying something completely different in their personal lives, as is the case of Cheney and gay marriage. I already knew that Republicans were only harping on that issue to energize values voters and get them to the polls, but seeing that blatant hypocrisy really drives the point home that they'll just say whatever they can to hold on to power. I know almost all politicians are hypocrites and liars but it still galls me when it's flagrantly out in the open like that.
     
  5. Satsfakshun

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    Most of it doesn't bother me. I don't care that Laura Bush killed someone and got a slap on the hand. Anyone with bucks can get a pass like that. I just read today that Rudy G. was married to his second cousin. This was his first marriage. He'd known her since they had been kids and then was shocked (!) shocked (!) to discover they were related when he needed an anullment to marry his second wife, Hanover. Number 2 was the mother of his children.

    Marrying your cousin and lying about it is pretty creepy.

    I was kind of unsure about Hilary, but now she says she talked to Bill Graham and he convinced her not to dump Bill. I'm not very religeous, but I can buy that.
     
  6. DC_DEEP

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    That actually did bother me, until I realized that it was the press that made such a big deal of nothing.

    Every administration has had new china commissioned. It's a tradition, like having a presidential portrait done.

    Fickle public indeed.

    The private lives of the candidates do not concern me in the least, as long as they are not being hypocritical. Policy issues do interest me.
     
  7. dcwrestlefan

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    pretty much a non issue with me. if you screw on the side, i don't care. if your kids are effed up. i don't care. tell me your positions on the issues and carry it out. then i care.
     
  8. CUBE

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    The China was a donation by the way...I tend to know useless crap like that...
     
  9. earllogjam

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    Yes policy issues should take priority when sizing up candidates but that rarely happens these days. The media reporting invariably centers around a candidate's dirty laundry simply because it is always much more interesting than actually reporting any policy solutions a candidate may or may not have. It sells advertising. We are a victim of our own short term attention span. News has become entertainment. If there is no news, make some by sensationalizing non-issues into drama so you can fill up your time slot and get ratings.

    The sad truth of the matter is that the presidental elections in this country have turned into a kind of popularity contest, devoid of any intelligent analysis of policies, debate or discussion by our media. How much do we know of the candidates stand on issues or solutions to different national problems compared to how much is reported regarding their personal, religious, or "moral" lives? What does John Edward's wife having breast cancer have anything to do with what kind of president he will be? Who cares that Mit Romney is Mormon? Yet this is the bulk of what is reported to us in 10 second sound bites called "news". So in response most voters are uninformed and decide with their "feelings" instead of their brains. Why do you suppose half the country voted for Bush?

    Most of the real issues that have a big impact on our lives like economic policy, energy policy, health policy are for the most part over most American's comprehension or even willingness to learn. Ratings go down if you air things people don't understand or if it takes too long to explain. So the coverage of elections winds up inevitably centered on trite red herring issues like abortion, gay marriage, a candidate's religious background, and their marriage history instead of the complex hard issues like preventing terrorism, diplomatic policy for the Middle East or North Korea, the health care crisis, global warming, what happens to Iraq and the Middle East afer we pull out.

    If you get your information about candidates primarily from the TV news networks, the personal and private lives of candidates are always a factor influencing elections. Not sure why it is so important to report all the private dirt other than for its pure entertainment value and ratings. I don't know too many other jobs where your private life needs to be scrutinized before you can get a job or have it be an accurate indicator of your future performance.
     
  10. Osiris

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    I would swear you are psychic Earl.

    A video from CBS News this morning:

    Guiliani Campaign: Judge him by his resume, not his private life

    Seems that when Guiliani was campaigning before his divorce, he paraded his wife and kids all over the campaign trail. Now that wife has divorced him, children are outraged with dad for leaving mom for an aide, Rudy wants family kept out of it.
     
  11. DC_DEEP

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    I suppose I should have been a little more clear in my previous post. A candidate's or office holder's private life only concerns me if it is in direct conflict with his public platform.

    I don't care if he is divorced or if he fools around or goes for the rent boys - as long as he's not promoting anti-gay legislation or spouting on about "defense of marriage" or "family values."

    I don't care if he has a few drinks or smokes a blunt - as long as he's not aggressively supporting the "war on drugs."
     
  12. CUBE

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    That Earl....he is a smarty
     
  13. earllogjam

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    Hey Osiris, that link is broken. But, I can imagine what the coverage is though, more soft news that belongs on Entertainment Tonight. As long as candidates use their families for political gains there will always be media hounding their private lives. I can't help but wonder to what extent the media is playing into the hands and being manipulated by these polititians instead of providing us with substantive information. How do they determine what is substantive and worthy of reporting? Seems like it has all gone Entertainment Tonight. I mean Paris Hilton in jail? That's national news? Come on.

    Yes, I agree. Newt Gingrich comes to mind - having an extramarital affair while trying to oust President Clinton for getting a blowjob.
     
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