Like many, I was upset by the article announcing that Creigh Deeds’ 20-year-old son, Gus, had been charged with misdemeanor alcohol possession. Perhaps it was because of this characterization in the story:
His legal entanglement was unearthed through the research of political operatives
I was all ready to call out Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell and ask him to denounce such tactics – that is, until I looked at my own handling of Sarah Palin’s daughter, which I reported on here. Some may argue that the circumstances are different: in the latter case, the disclosure came from the campaign itself while this story was appears to have been spread by those seeking political advantage.
In either case, though, I found myself in a bit of a quandry, one that, no doubt, others found themselves in. If Palin’s daughter was news, so then was Deeds’ son. But there is a bigger issue here.
Candidates’ families aren’t the ones running for office.
I’m old enough to remember Billy Carter, President Jimmy Carter’s brother, who inserted himself into the news whenever and wherever possible. But if I recall correctly, he did that himself. It wasn’t an “outing,” if you will, by the media. And he was an adult. Palin’s daughter was 17, Deeds’ son, although legally an adult, is underage for drinking. (Whether or not the drinking age should be lowered is a topic for another post.)
So my question, dear readers, is should candidates’ families be off-limits?