Musings from Home

Spousal Support

It is that time of year again. No, I don’t mean Fall or even the holidays. It is election time. The time for countless ads and phone calls. The time for much debate and much quibbling.

But this year, at least here in Virginia, there’s also something new, or at least something that has caught my attention like never before. There are two candidates in particular in my state that are in a bit of a back-stabbing campaign. No, this is not what has me surprised. What jumped out at me in all this is that both candidates have ads which prominently feature their wives. And by “prominently feature” I mean that each of their wives is that particular ad. In each one, the wife is the only speaker (except for the endorsement of the ad by the candidate at the end).

Now call me cynical, but does anyone actually take what a wife has to say about her husband (especially if it’s good) seriously? I mean, I would tell you that Jim walks on water and while some of you dear folks might agree with me, the vast majority of the public would think I was just supporting my husband at worst, and at best, seeing him through the proverbial rose-colored glasses. And he is not even running for anything.

So who is actually going to believe these candidates’ wives when they tell us that their husband is the best candidate for the job? Or when they rattle off his voting record or his other accomplishments? How is this any more effective than if the candidate himself told us this same information? Isn’t this sort of like a spouse testifying in court in support of his or her loved one? As Agatha Christie demonstrated, people are generally much more likely to pay any attention to what the spouse thinks of her husband if she’s saying the opposite of what he is.

Every time I hear either of these ads, I wonder why they were done this way and if one was made in response to the other. An “if voters relate to your wife, maybe they should also hear from mine” sort of thing.

I don’t know how this strategy is working with other voters in Virginia, but I do know that I take everything said in both ads with a “grain of salt”. I’m not saying the spouses in question are not sincere in what they are saying about their husbands. I just don’t know that I believe it is true, just because they believe it. They are too close to the situation and the subject of the ad to be objective. And yes, I know ads are not objective at any rate, but I kinda feel that this is a ploy to trick me into sympathy.

If you know me, you know I loathe being treated like I’m not intelligent enough to see beyond tricks. The problem here is that since both candidates employed the same strategy, they have both left me feeling that they are at least a little bit slimy. Not too unusual for politics, but still not the best approach less than a week before the election. At least not with me.

How do y’all feel about candidates’ wives making political ads for them? Does it make the candidate more appealing, less appealing, or neither?

Reminder: You still have today and tomorrow to enter my giveaway. Please forgive me for being a nag. I’m just trying to reach people who may not read every post. 🙂

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Comments on: "Spousal Support" (2)

  1. Honestly, I don’t much believe anything that comes out of any politician’s mouth, ever. Even if I believe them to be well-intentioned, the political climate in this country is so contentious that actually getting another done, even on a local or state level, is becoming increasingly less likely. I continue to vote because too many suffragettes and soldiers died for my right to do so, and I try to make the most educated choices I can. As for the wives in the ads, I have a negative gut level reaction, although I can understand the urge to defend my family if I feel they are unjustly attacked. It makes me feel the woman is being used, and the candidate is too wimpy to fight his own battles. As someone who is childless by choice, I don’t appreciate candidates trotting out their kids or rattling off how many children and foster children they’ve raised, as if that makes them a better person or better American than me. I would have more respect for a candidate who respected his/her family’s right to privacy, and fought his/her own battles without resorting to staged displays of God and Family, name-calling and dirty games. But I guess such a person couldn’t get elected. Sigh.

  2. Do you think it has something to do with showing they are family-oriented? Or, Look! my wife is pretty – vote for me! Or maybe it’s appealing to the “female vote.” I try to vote when I know something about the candidates, but honestly, it’s hard to get motivated for any of them…

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