22 Aug 2007

Getting Personal With the Candidates

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Recently both ordinary people and rival candidate’s spouses have raised the question of whether a candidate’s less-than-edifying private life does not shed negative light upon his or her qualification for the highest office in the land.

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WBZTV reports that an ordinary NH voter was able to put Rudy Giuliani visibly on the defensive:

Rudy Giuliani is the latest candidate to get caught off guard by a cut-to-the-chase question from a voter.

I spoke with the Derry, New Hampshire woman who brought him up short, and she’s feeling the heat for her question.

Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien says she was just curious about the apparent lack of support for their father’s candidacy by Giuliani’s son and daughter from a previous marriage, but that query and Giuliani’s dismissive reply have been the buzz of the political world all weekend.

“I asked him how he’d expect the American people to give him loyal fellowship if he was having a hard time getting it from his own family.”

Giuliani’s response: “There are complexities in every family in America. The best thing I can say is kind of leave my family alone, just like I’ll leave your family alone.”

Keller: What did you think of his answer?

Katherine: I thought it was a little defensive. I guess he’s still not ready to talk about the whole thing because it’s very uncomfortable for him.

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Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Michelle Obama made a not-very-cryptic reference of the same kind.

Chicago Sun-Times:

At another stop, in Atlantic, Michelle said she travels with her husband in part “to model what it means to have family values,” adding “if you can’t run your own house, you can’t run the White House.” She didn’t elaborate, but it could be interpreted as a swipe at the Clintons.

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