Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The perils of procreation and the presidency

I've noticed that certain segments of the blogsphere have noticed that Supreme Court Justice and law and order champion Antonin Scalia's adult daughter was recently arrested for DUI while driving from a McDonalds with her three children.

These days, the ever-expanding fringes of the virtual political landscape don't so much as bother to hide their schadenfreude when their "enemies" face any sort of hardship, family included.

While the message board crazies gleefully devised their best "hypocrisy" angle, I noted with awe Scalia has nine children. That's a lot of children. And when you have nine children there is a better than not chance at least one of them is going to be criminally irresponsible -- especially when tasty, tempting Big Macs are involved.

That got me thinking, is it a coincidence that the last two presidents have had just three children between them? You could even argue President Bush's two children were a botched attempt to have one child.

It wasn't always that way: Bush's equally presidential dad has five kids. Reagan had all sorts of children of differing mothers and biological status. Going back to the nineteen century, President John Tyler had 15 kids. In fact, they called Tyler the "accidental" president. (I'm sure if I looked into that I'd find it was for other reasons.)

But in these nasty political times, in this all-access environment of Facebook and The Smoking Gun, could it be that it's mo' children mo' problems when running for high office?

Now a childless presidential candidate wouldn't fly. And, as you can see, none of the major candidates are in that barren boat:

McCain 7 children
Romney 5 children
Edwards 3 children
Obama 2 children
Giuliani 2 children
Clinton 1 child

The early frontrunners are, of course, Clinton and Giuliani.

It should be no surprise the precisely programed Mrs. Clinton has the ideal number of child for modern political warfare -- and one that has gone through eight years of battle testing.

That Giuliani has kept himself to two is surprising, considering self-control is his perceived weakness. And no, Rudy never had any potentially compromised offspring with the second cousin he "mistakenly" made his first wife.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very nice use of schadenfreude friend...very nice.