Once upon a time, like in 1992, the conventional wisdom was that the wives of presidential candidates should shut up and stay in the kitchen baking cookies. Wives of candidates who transgressed this commandment were harshly rebuked.
But 2007 is a very different year. In fact, it is now acceptable not only for a candidate to be divorced and married to a woman 24 years his junior, but it is also now wildly popular that said wife be a prominent force in the campaign, or at least so says famed op-edder and Republican insider Robert Novak:
Speaking at his $1,000-a-ticket fundraiser at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Washington on Monday night, Fred Thompson began by introducing "my campaign manager -- oh, I mean my wife." That little joke about Jeri Thompson reveals how the prospective Republican presidential candidate regards the attack on his intelligent, beautiful wife.
As the actor-lawyer-politician nears his long-awaited official announcement, Mrs. Thompson is slurred as a "trophy wife" -- privately by her husband's opponents for the Republican nomination and publicly by the media. Even Thompson supporters grumble that Jeri, 40, is too alluring, that she should modify the way she dresses and that, even then, she should not practice her skills as a professional political operative on behalf of her 64-year-old husband.
Well, yeah, that was the line back when Bill Clinton was running for President and the warnings were directed at his wife, Hillary. But I guess so long as the candidate and spouse are Republicans, than it's OK.