The presidential campaign is heating up. Thankfully, our press is focusing on important issues, such as Fred Thompson’s wife.
As it goes, Thompson, who divorced his first wife 20 years ago, met his second at a supermarket in 2000. She is 24 years his junior, but something clicked.
He carried her groceries to her car. She invited him to a party. They married in 2002 and now have two children.
And now, according to The New York Times Fashion & Style section, Thompson’s young wife is spurring debate in Internet chat rooms, cable television and talk radio. Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife, The Times asks.
She’s got a permanent tan, after all. Her hair is bleached blond. Her 41-year-old youthfulness contrasts mightily with the grandfatherly nature of her 65-year-old husband.
The question on everyone’s mind: Will social conservatives — those fuddy-duddy moral-values types — turn away from Thompson because his second wife is a babe?
As is often the case with our media, they got it backward. MORE people will support Thompson because of his wife.
Look, Thompson has a balding noggin. His mug is pale, haggard and woebegone. Nobody is going to mistake him for George Clooney.
Yet the old fellow persuaded a young blonde in a supermarket to: 1) ask him out, 2) marry him, and, 3) have two kids. This guy could talk Ahmadinejad out of his nuclear ambitions.
Thompson’s wife will help him lock up the middle-aged male vote. I’m 45 and I’m inspired by his love story. Maybe I can go to the supermarket and persuade a 20-year-old co-ed to ask me to go to a party.
And isn’t that what choosing a president is all about? Picking somebody who makes us feel good about ourselves? That’s what is so great about the current crop of candidates. There are so many ways they can make us feel better.
If Sen. Barack Obama pulls through and makes it to the presidency, America will have its first black president. That would make everybody feel good, because it would show how much progress we’ve made in righting the wrongs of our past.
If New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson pulls through, that would be great, too. He is of Hispanic heritage and that would make our rapidly growing Hispanic population feel good.
And what about Mitt Romney, a Mormon? America has never had a Mormon president. That isn’t fair. Wouldn’t we all feel better — wouldn’t we show how open-minded we are — if we put Romney in the White House?
But best of all is Hillary — the first female president. Dick Morris says she has the unique power to unleash America’s cultural forces across the board. He says the media, Hollywood and other icons who shape our lifestyles are lining up behind her.
Single women are, too. Traditionally, single women avoid the polls for the simple reason that many of them don’t follow politics very closely. But they’re likely to register and vote for Hillary because they identify with her. Hillary makes them feel good.
That’s why I’d vote for Thompson. His hot young wife makes me feel good, too.
Sure, I know presidential campaigns are supposed to be about ideas. I know the media are supposed to hold candidates to account — make them articulate what they will or will not do if they become president. I know a president’s ideas — not his or her sex, skin color or ethnicity — are what really matter.
I know we have no shortage of problems right now. We’re divided on how to face down terrorist threats. Social Security and Medicare are two train wrecks coming at us at high speed. Some candidates want to lower taxes and some want to jack them up.
But who cares about any of that? Who cares about analyzing each candidate’s ideas based on which are best for our country? What is important is Fred Thompson’s hot young wife.
She gives me hope that my first wife will be young and beautiful — maybe my second wife, too.