The US election-observing sector of the blogosphere is awash with speculation about rumours that Democrat Presidential frontrunner John Kerry has/had a Clinton-style dalliance with a young female intern. T1 is beating up the story for all it’s worth (as you’d expect from a kneejerk tory propagandist), while T2 reckons it’s a desperate gambit by Dubbya to arrest his sliding opinion poll ratings.
Personally, I don’t give a stuff (so to speak). One of the few remaining civilised things about Australian politics is that the media usually ignores extramarital philandering by politicians, unless they’re grossly indiscreet (like Jim Cairns and Junie Morosi) or provoke exposure, as Cheryl Kernot arguably did by publishing a “no holds barred” autobiography that omitted any mention of her affair with the world’s second most unlikely Lothario (after the incredibly boring John Kerry) Gareth Evans. Of course, it’s almost certainly a self-serving taboo, because political journalists stuck in Canberra’s incestuous isolation are equally prone to “playing away from home”.
Probably the other reason we don’t witness these sorts of tawdry campaign antics is that sexual exposes tend to go down like lead balloons with the vast majority of Australians. Thankfully, unlike the US, we don’t have a large community of fundamentalist bible-bashing wowsers (nothing personal Homer) who can be whipped into a self-righteous prurient frenzy over a soiled frock, imaginatively-deployed cigar or a momentarily-exposed mammary gland.