Commentary Magazine


Do People Really Expect So Little From Politicians?

There is something a little odd — and this is a bipartisan oddity — in the fact that Americans are constantly surprised and touched to discover that politicians love their children. Doubtless, millions of Americans will remember Michelle Obama’s invocation of her husband driving at a snail’s pace away from the hospital with their newborn daughter in tow; but isn’t that the case with most fathers of newborns? I do understand that this particular evocation of a nuclear-family moment might have special resonance in the black community, but as a Hallmark moment it will resonate with everyone. And that is only because the behavior of men like John Edwards really does lead people to think politicians are emotionless robots, when in fact, loving your children is so universal no one should be graded on a curve because of it.