As a rule, I consider the families of political candidates/officeholders off-limits. Criticizing a politician who puts himself/herself in the public eye, inviting scrutiny, obviously makes sense; going after politicians’ spouses or kids does not.
But when a politician’s spouse chooses to enter the debate, and makes political arguments in the public sphere, they’re fair game.
Which brings us to Anita Perry, who’s married to Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry.
The First Lady of Texas argued this week that her husband is being attacked by his GOP rivals, not because he was leading the pack up until recently, but because he’s an evangelical Christian. “We are being brutalized by our opponents and by our party. So much of that is I think they look at him because of his faith,” she said. “He is the only true conservative.”
This wasn’t helpful. For one thing, it’s a little early to be playing the victim card. For another, for a candidate’s spouse to accuse the party of being hostile towards conservative Christians doesn’t exactly engender good will.
But Anita Perry wasn’t done sharing her thoughts on recent developments.
On Friday, Mrs. Perry once again spoke of the trials of her family, this time saying in Spartanburg, S.C., that she could “empathize” with the plight of the unemployed because her son “lost his job because of this administration.”
“He resigned his job two weeks ago because he can’t go out and campaign with his father because of S.E.C. regulations,” she said, according to a CNN report.
The Perry’s son, Griffin, was reportedly working at Deutsche Bank before leaving to start an independent consulting firm that would let him focus more time on campaigning for his father.
On Thursday, Mrs. Perry told the audience that her son had enthusiastically volunteered to resign — “I’ll do what I need to do” — when he heard his father was considering a presidential bid.
So, Anita Perry blames Obama for her son’s resignation, which is itself a foolish claim, and she believes his departure to an independent consulting firm — very likely trading one lucrative job for another — helps her “empathize” with those suffering during the jobs crisis.
Maybe both the governor and his wife would benefit from a little time away from the spotlight?