It's The Spousal Embarrassment , Stupid

Atrios (who I am not calling stupid here), wonders about the fixation on the Clenis:

Bill Clinton is an incredibly popular person and only our Beltway press could imagine that he would somehow be a "liability" to his wife. Though, to be fair, the subtext of the "concerns" of the Beltway chatterers is that they're really talking not about Bill Clinton, but about the Clenis . . . Why Bill Clinton's past infidelity is more relevant to his wife's candidacy than Rudy Giuliani's own infidelity is to his own candidacy is an exercise left to the reader.

I think that Atrios misses the point here, it is about potential SPOUSAL embarrassment, not about the character of the candidates themselves. I think the press figures as long as we really are going to be counterproductive and trivial in this campaign, why not go whole hog.

So the question is what skeletons are there in Mrs. Rudy Giuliani's closet? Hmmm. Here's one:

The mayor said he and Ms. Hanover would be seeking a legal separation, not a divorce, and that she would not be moving out of Gracie Mansion, the mayor's official residence. Giuliani added that Judith Nathan, a woman he has publicly been seen with, is a good friend. Recent tabloid reports have linked the mayor and Nathan, raising some eyebrows in the New York GOP. "We're very good friends and she and her family are entitled to privacy," Giuliani said last week to reporters who began writing about Giuliani-Nathan sightings around Manhattan. Neither he nor Nathan have elaborated further on their relationship.

So Giuliani's spouse has her own history. Wonder if the Media will speculate about that?

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    You're missing the point (none / 0) (#1)
    by HeadScratcher on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 03:00:45 PM EST
    It's not the affair, but how you handle it that's the problem.

    If President Clinton had admitted the affair instead of wagging his finger in denial and hiding behind semantics, the whole thing would have been over in weeks. Not to mention sending Hillary on TV to denounce this (either she didn't know and he lied to her or she was part of the attack - I don't think she is stupid to believe there wasn't some truth to the accusations).

    Or, he could have just said it's a private matter that has nothing to do with running the government, and he without sin cast the first stone. Most people would have been okay with it.

    And, don't forget, that Gore was damaged politically by the Clinton mess and that led him to put your favorite senator, Lieberman, on the ticket as a rebuke to the whole mess...

    You have to be kidding (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 03:13:54 PM EST
    If President Clinton had admitted the affair ....

    Were you in a parallel universe at that time? One where the press was not constantly trashing Clinton.

    squeaky (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 04:55:18 PM EST
    you're right, they were constantly trashing the clintons, for a variety of alleged, or wholly made up, transgressions.

    the lewinsky affair was the one concrete item they could sink their teeth into. i think headscratcher's correct: had mr. clinton told them all to go blow it out their collective asses, it was none of anyone else's business, most people would have agreed with him, and it would have quickly been forgotten. had the press and the r's continued to beat it to death, the backlash would have been on them. we see what happened instead.

    as it is, that's the one thing the average person remembers from mr. clinton's time in the oval office, a stained blue dress.

    Really? (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 05:02:35 PM EST
    Can you remember when a President admitted to an affair with an staffer and was given a pass? I agree that the right thing to do would have been admit it up front and then tell the press to f^*k off if they kept on it.

    Given that I believe that the press would have relentlessly hounded him about it, calling for a divorce, questioning his honor, etc.

    We will never know.