08/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"Clean" is the New Standard for National Office

I guess the new standard for candidates for national office is that they be "clean"--and clean seems to mean not that they have no scandal in their closets but that their closets are neat, and that their clothes and bodies are clean.

Here"s CNN's John King reporting on the possibility that Republican Eric Cantor, the 45-year-old fourth-term republican from Virginia. is being vetted by McCain's people as a possible VP.

King quoted "an informed Republican source" as saying,
"He's bright, clean, conservative but not angry, and Jewish. (He's a) great fund-raiser and locks up Virginia for good measure."

One can only wonder whether the "clean" meant: no black hat, frock coat and side curls?

Speaking of side curls--whoops, hair plugs--remember Joe Biden's words about Barack Obama during the primaries when he called Obama "the first mainstream African American [presidential candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Pundits still put Biden on Obama's short list for VP so I guess all is forgiven--although, in my opinion, Biden is a long-shot: think of all the replays of his disastrous campaign for the 1988 presidential nomination when a Michael Dukakis aide leaked the news that Biden had lifted inspirational remarks about his hardscrabble childhood from a speech by Neil Kinnock, the British Labour Party leader, whose father actually was a coal miner. (Biden's was a car salesman and later in the real estate business.)