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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Should Politicians Feel Pressured to Air Out Their Dirty Laundry?

Hey World,
First of all, happy Easter to everyone. Secondly, I just wanted to point out that since it has been about a week since the new governor of New York, David Paterson, has taken office. It is interesting how Paterson felt the need to immediately mention that both he and his wife have had extramarital affairs in the past. So far, everyone seems to not be making a big deal about it. I think that part of the reason people aren't making a big hoopla is because everyone is desensitized from the whole Spitzer fiasco. Another reason is that the general public may have the point of view which says: "Who cares? Paterson is not the first politician who has cheated on his wife. All that matters is that he is a good governor." I think that it was a very smart move for Paterson to admit what he and his wife have done because, for one thing, it shows that he is not a perfect politician but a human being who makes mistakes just like everyone else. Another thing is that the fact that his wife admitted to having an affair too reminded people that women cheat too. The most important aspect of all of this is that by Paterson admitting to his infidelities, the story is not as interesting. If it was revealed later in his administration, then it would have looked worse because Paterson had kept it a secret, but by his admitting it before he starts in his position makes the story of his infidelity less interesting. The gossip is less juicy when the person being gossiped about admits to doing wrong before anyone else gets to uncover his wrongdoing. There is no story there.

The point that I am trying to bring up with the Paterson thing is to bring up the question of whether or not it is ok for politicians to admit their wrongdoings to the public so openly, especially at the beginning of a term in office. Is it commendable for politicians to do this to keep the focus more on their political lives over their personal trials? Or is this an unrealistic action for politicians to do? That is, in admitting a wrongdoing, would it create the opposite result of increased interest in the political figure's personal life? Just some questions to ponder.

Anyway, I wish our new governor well. Hopefully, this infidelity thing is the worst he has done and that there is nothing else to reveal, but I am remaining optimistic.

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