I’d never really thought about it, but it makes sense that we elect people based on integrity and commitment – heck, willingness to do more than pay lip service to both law and norms – to one degree or another. If you are flagrant before the fact, that’s probably it for you, when it’s a marriage.
It doesn’t even matter whether you and your spouse are differently normed and have a relationship you might consider more open than others, or if your marriage has alteady undergone zombification. Public perception is everything.
It may be old-fashioned, but there it is.
After the fact? Then it’ll look bad, as with Clinton, but performance matters and, frankly, perception of your spouse and relationship matter as well. If yours is widely perceived as a marriage of power and convenience, the sting might be less. And even so, look at the frenzy over Monica.
It may not be right, but it’s reality. Speaking of which, Republicans need to tout less morality and more reality, if they are to have a chance.