Typically, I’m not one who gives two Schlitz who an elected official’s spouse or partner is. I think there are certainly conflicts of interests that arise between a family member and an elected official that could pose a challenge during a campaign that are certainly fair game (see Sen. Udall and wife Maggie Fox, Rep. Perlmutter and former-wife and lobbyist Deanna Perlmutter, etc.).
But, very rarely would it ever be appropriate to question who a candidate is dating. Recently-divorced Governor John Hickenlooper let fly that his campaign prohibits him from dating during his re-election campaign. He told Maureen Dowd, “I really can’t date. Political enemies would attack whoever the person was for whatever reason unless it was just exactly perfect.” There is simply a lot wrong with this statement.
First, any single candidates out there, here is some free advice, always show concern for the other person, over yourself. The stock line is, “With my schedule and exposure, it’s a lot to ask someone to always ride with my security detail and step into the limelight. I wouldn’t put anyone through that.” Instead, Hickenlooper seems more concerned with how his date will impact him and his candidacy and accuses his “political enemies” of making an issue of who he was dating without any examples or prior history of these attacks. No one “attacked” his ex-wife. No one attacked Guv. Ritter’s wife. No one attacked Sen. Bennet’s wife. Heck, no one attacked Senate President Morgan Carroll’s boyfriend. Which begs the question, “Who do you want to date?” Continue reading