Today’s Post is very proud of itself for breaking the story that Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony, is behind on alimony and child-support payments. The story is full of innuendo that this news will affect her presidential race. It “won’t be a welcome development for Hillary Clinton, coming as the too-close-to-call battle for the Democratic presidential nomination reaches a fevered pitch,” the paper explains. But what we can’t help but appreciate is that this story probably won’t matter for Hillary. Sure, it’s a good story – the ex-wife that Anthony Rodham is stiffing is the daughter of California Senator Barbara Boxer. That’s gotta lend itself to some awkward Democratic holiday-party chatter. But stories like this (Mike Huckabee’s Son Killed a Dog! Rudy’s Daughter Is Voting for Obama! Obama’s Real Estate Buddy Is Shady! Mitt Romney’s Son Is a Little Gay-Seeming!) just don’t seem to take hold this year.
We think that’s a good sign. It may be because the candidates have enough negatives themselves that voters don’t have the energy to worry about the people around them. Or it may be because people have finally realized that you cannot safely project the bad characteristics of a relative or associate onto a different person. For us, it comes down to this: Anyone who has the energy, drive, competitiveness, cunning, and manipulative skills to run for president is demented. Of course, they’re going to be surrounded by a parade of freaks. But if someone has a strong enough personality to be a viable candidate, it’s hard for people’s view of him or her to be affected by something a friend or relative has done. Bernie Kerik will continue to be a problem for Giuliani because the former mayor continually appointed him to positions of power. But someone like Anthony Rodham? Did anyone even know there were men in that family?