Mitch Daniels And The Cuckold Factor

by Jonathan Chait | May 18, 2011

A former colleague of mine recently speculated that Mitch Daniels' marriage would become a problem for him in the Republican primary --  not because he was divorced, but because his wife humiliated him and he forgave her. I am not averse to theories that hold Republican voters in low esteem, but my friend's hypothesis struck me as a little too primitive and reductive. But here is Wall Street Journal op-ed blogger James Taranto vindicating him:

There has been no suggestion that Mr. Daniels behaved wrongfully in private, much less in public. Mrs. Daniels's actions back then are reminiscent of Meryl Streep's character Joanna Kramer, the villain in "Kramer vs. Kramer." But since the Indiana first lady is a private citizen who appears to have no political ambitions of her own, her past indiscretions are none of anyone's business.
Yet there's a curiosity around this story, which we suppose comes down to the question: What does it tell us about the character of a prospective president? Or, to put it more pointedly: If a man would take back a woman after such a betrayal, is he tough enough to lead the country?

Plus, you know, Daniels wants to trim the defense budget. I could see a "wimp" narrative about Daniels taking hold among the reptilian brains on the right.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/88654/mitch-daniels-and-the-cuckold-factor