We know nothing of other people’s marriages. Nothing at all.
So why do we pretend otherwise? Why do we make so many assumptions and judgments?
And why, every election cycle, do we treat candidates’ spouses and unions as the keys to their characters?
We can’t trust what’s paraded in front of us any more than we can take what journalists and opponents dig up as the essential truth. A person’s intimate life isn’t readily fathomed, and on the inside tends not to look anything like it does on the outside.
Personally, I've been married for almost 30 years and agree with something I once read: Every marriage is a black box.
So Bruni advises us not to judge anyone by our impressions of his or her marriage:
It’s a foolish game under any circumstances. It’s a dangerous one en route to the election of a president.
And that reminds me of a conversation I had recently with a fellow Obama supporter. This individual will likely vote Democratic in November but admitted to just not liking Hillary.
To which I responded: Fair enough, I don't like the Clintons either -- never have. But I'll vote for Hillary anyway. Why? Because she's highly intelligent, the most capable person running and the most likely to continue President Obama's legacy.
And that also reminds me of a boss I once had. As a person, he was one of the two worst individuals I've ever met. He had a mean streak and almost seemed to take pleasure in firing people -- a truly loathsome creature. But, professionally, he was extremely good at what he did. I learned a great deal from him -- probably more than anyone else in my long and checkered career. I'd hate like hell to have to socialize with him, but I had great respect for him in his job.
Now don't get the wrong idea: I don't dislike Hillary anywhere near that much. I just find the Clintons to be disingenuous, insincere, opportunistic, etc. But those are hardly disqualifying characteristics. Will I ever feel the same respect and admiration for them that I have for President Obama? Not likely. But this isn't a popularity contest; we're talking about the Leader of the Free World. And Hillary is far and away the best choice.
P. S. Bernie Sanders? Love him. But we need to win.