Of all the unsettling aspects of recent political campaigns -- and there are many -- none is more "icky" than having a candidate's wife record a robocall about how wonderful her husband is.
Several times in the past week, we received a call that began with: "This is Mary Doe, John's wife of xx years. I wish you knew my husband like I do..." Click. Immediate hang up. I have no desire to know a candidate anywhere near like his spouse knows him. Talk about TMI!
What could a candidate's wife possibly say that would lend any credibility to his candidacy? "He doesn't beat me." "He flosses every night." "He never forgets to put the toilet seat down." Seriously? Our society is already way too focused on peeking into bedroom windows. Wifely testimonials to the election-worthiness of their husbands only heighten urges to stick our noses where we have no business. Saying her husband is faithful, loves his kids, feeds the dog and cleans the gutters is meaningless. It has zero relevancy to his fitness for public office. And, as Chris Rock says, why should we give credit to people for doing what they're supposed to do?
Doesn't it go without saying that a wife supports her husband's candidacy for office? I presume that from the minute a man announces his "willingness to serve."
It is interesting to note that in my voting area, at least, none of the female candidates for office had their husbands record robocalls about what great wives they are.
I voted for people despite, not because of, their wives' urgings.
But I must admit that if ever I were to get a call from a candidate's wife that started with "This is Mary Doe, wife of John, and I have to tell you, he is the last person you should elect, and here's why..." I would be all ears.
Mark D. Weinberg, a corporate communications consultant and executive speechwriter, served as Special Assistant to the President and Assistant Press Secretary in the Reagan White House, and in senior communications management positions at Fortune 500 corporations..