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Sunday, January 03, 2016

Beginning with George- President's private lives are irrelevant

Vulgarian-Trumparians are vainly trying to intimidate Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, based on past issues with President William Jefferson Clinton's private life. Nevertheless, the fact is, private lives are irrelevant when evaluating political leadership.

Obviously, I'm not a Presidential historian; but just a lay person who reads a lot of history. But, here's what I know about presidential sexual (and anecdotal) history:
"George Washington Slept Here" is often a joke, but we just don't know much about his life away from Mount Vernon. Who cares?

1.  George Washington (1732-1799):  There are lots of jokes about "George Washington slept here", because he was a very mobile Colonial Revolutionary War General. Nevertheless, we don't know who General George may have "slept" with, if anybody. Rumors are, George's times away from his wife Martha at Virginia's Mount Vernon, may not  have been celebate. Frankly, "who cares?".  

2. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): Author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd President of the United States had a long affair and children with a slave lady named Sally Hemings (born in 1773, in Virginia, worked on the Monticello plantation of Thomas Jefferson). After decades of questions about their relationship, the children attibuted to this affair were confirmed by DNA analysis. At the end of the day, "who cares?".3. Warren Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923):  Was 29th President of the United States- fathered a "love child" named Elizabeth Ann Britton Harding Blaesing (October 22, 1919 – November 17, 2005) was indeed the daughter of Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, and one of his mistresses, Nan Britton.  Harding and Britton, who each lived in Marion, Ohio, began their affair when he was a U.S. Senator and it continued until his sudden death, during his presidency.

4.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945):  Married to Eleanor, the mother of his six children. Yet, the popular President, who was leader of the US during the Great Depression and World War II, had a long love and affair with Lucy Page Mercer Rutherford (1891-1948), who was with the President when he died in Warm Springs, Georgia.  Does anybody really care?  

5.  Dwight D. Eisenhower- was very close to Kay Summersby (23 November 1908 – 20 January 1975). Although there's no confirmation about a sexual affair between the two, nobody really knows.  Probably, Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower, the President's wife, knew a lot about the relationship, but, frankly, "who cares?".

6.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) - seemed to live a double life, if all the sexual liaiasons he experienced are to be believed. Nevertheless, President Kennedy was married to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Onasis) until her husband was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Whatever sexual affairs President Kennedy had during his marraige, they are truly irrelevant today. Who cares?

7.  William Jefferson Clinton and Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton - (yawn)...."who cares?".

Of course, news about sexual affairs among the rich, famous and powerful are always titilating. They are the subjects of endless best selling books and movies.  Nevertheless, at the end of a leadership career, what counts are the attibutes and successes of the person who frames an era.  

In other words, what happens in a marriage, famous or otherwise, stays in the family.  Let's allow Mrs. Hillary Clinton to run for the office of President of the United States without having to answer for the indescretions of her husband. Frankly, the Clinton's marriage and what goes on in it are entirely their personal and private business. What Americans must care about is competent leadership. Obviously, Mrs. Clinton is a humanitarian world leader and, therefore, whatever happened in her past personal life, frankly, is none of our business.

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