These are my random musings. Hopefully they will be witty, insightful, and frequently updated.
Does being a good parent make you a good president?
Published on August 17, 2007 By singrdave In US Domestic
Good morning all,

The current long-haul presidential campaign has scrutinized every aspect of the candidates' lives. A recent media scan of Facebook found that Rudy Giuliani's own daughter was in a group supporting Barack Obama. This particular father-daughter enmity was a result of Rudy's divorce from this particular daughter's mother, which was played out quite publicly during his tenure as Mayor of New York. The inevitable question was why he should expect loyalty from voters when he does not get it from his children.

But does familial happiness have a correlation with being a good president? Let's take a look at a modern example and a less recent example:

Thomas Jefferson v. John Adams. Adams was devoted to his wife Abigail and his children:

His most notable good fortune, however, occurred in 1764 when he
married Abigail Smith. John Adams's marriage of 54 years to this wise,
learned, strong-willed, passionate, and patriotic woman began the
brilliant phase of Adams family history that produced their son John Quincy,
his son Charles Francis, his sons Henry and Brooks, and numerous
other distinguished progeny.

And Thomas Jefferson was sleeping with the help. So who made the better president? I would say that a survey would bring Jefferson back as the winner... begging the question that are family values an indication of presidential potential?

Our modern example is George HW Bush v. Ronald Reagan. Bush 41 is regarded as an excellent family man, raising his children in an environment full of love and support. Ronald Reagan was divorced, estranged from his children, and yet his name and memory are revered quite vocally by the current Republican Party. Reagan, not Bush, is the figurehead and exemplar of the modern Republicans. Yet by all rights, he was a terrible family man.

So this brings us to the discussion: is family values an indicator of presidential performance? We examine the family lives and marital records of our candidates in order to find out more about their ability to govern, but is this judgment of family-rearing ability a good indicator of presidential ability?

In my opinion, while there is a disconnect with ability to govern and ability to parent, our media-driven pressidential process brings with it unprecedented levels of scrutiny into candidates' private lives. And with that, the candidates' abilities to parent will inevitably be judged.

So this doesn't make Rudy a less viable candidate for the presidency -- there are simply some more black marks on his run for the White House.

on Aug 17, 2007
To the forums with ye!