The big story is not who Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered with whom. That’s between him and his family and is no-one else’s business. I don’t care if he revealed it himself – I don’t want to know.
No, the big story is that having done this, he still managed to be a pretty decent, two-term Republican governor of California. How is this possible? Perhaps it’s further evidence that marital fidelity tells us nothing about a person’s ability to hold office and serve well in that office.
I am not rationalising cheating. What goes on in any couple’s relationship is none of my business. But let’s all grow up a bit and realise that it happens. I really don’t care that Newt Gingrich had affairs. It’s only relevant because he led the efforts to destroy Bill Clinton over the same thing. It’s not the affair, it’s the hypocrisy. And even the hypocrisy isn’t as bad as being prepared to paralyse government over something that only concerned the Clinton household, and the excuse that Gingrich’s own philandering was due to the pressures of office. I bet Slick Willy is kicking himself that he didn’t think of that one. I mean, if being the Speaker of the House is enough to drive you to have an affair, how tough must it be when you’re president? The only difference between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton is that Clinton saved his marriage while Gingrich let it go and married the other woman. But that’s none of my business and it says nothing about how well he can hold office.
The Schwarzenegger affair would probably have destroyed his governorship had it come out while he was still governor, but why should it have? Has it negated anything he did in office? Kennedy’s well documented affairs weren’t such a big secret at the time, but it was a time when people and the media knew how to mind their own business. How would the public interest have been served if it had all been revealed in 1962?
Actual corruption cannot and should not be ignored, but it’s time to stop expecting all politicians to be superhuman paragons of virtue.
Or to put it another way, Don’t be political girly men.