Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Kids are Alright

Have politicians ever cited the opinions of their children when they announce their endorsements? I can't think of many examples prior to this election cycle, but there have been two just this month. Public figures can be frequently caught flogging the "think of the children!" trope, but there is ample evidence of elected officials actually thinking of (their) children when throwing their support behind Barack Obama.

Governor Doyle specifically cited his sons influence on his decision when he came out for Obama earlier this month:

Doyle wasn't even the first one in his family to back the senator from Illinois. He said his two sons, Gus, 32, and Gabe, 29, already supported Obama's bid for the Democratic Party nomination.

"We obviously are a family that talks a lot about this," the governor said. "And it's very clear to me they helped me understand how a younger person sees the world. And you can see this in the votes . . . when a younger person looks at Barack, what they really see is the country moving into the future and the future can be a good one."

And now Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is telling a similar story:

McCaskill called Clinton "a smart woman...a strong leader" and acknowledged that she had faced strong pressure from her women's group allies to support the former first lady, or at least stay neutral. But she added, it's"important we look forward" and said of her decision, "I feel very strongly about it." The senator said it was her 18-year-old daughter, an Obama supporter, who ultimately urged her off the fence.

I vaguely recall reading similar stories of various politicians choosing sides based on the advice of their children (but am having little luck finding them right now) as well. But I don't recall public figures citing the influence of their children -- and particularly their young children -- when making such decisions in the past.

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