I didn't know that former Vice President Dan Quayle's son, Ben, was a candidate for Congress until I heard about his controversial video campaign advertisement. Running as a "conservative" Republican in Arizona-- as opposed to what, you might ask here -- Quayle evidently wants his potential constituents to know that he believes that President Barack Obama is the "worst president in the history" of the United States. Worse than James Buchanan. Worse than Herbert Hoover. Worse than Jimmy Carter. Worse than Bill Clinton. Worse than George W. Bush.
The second thing I learned about the young candidate-- one of ten vying for the state's 3rd Congressional District -- was that he was denying reports that he had blogged for what ABC News described as "a saucy website featuring gossip and racy photos from Arizona's nightlife scene." And then I heard that Quayle copped to writing for the site -- which means he initially lied-- and finally I read where when confronted by the legitimate controversy (take a look) he blamed the media and his political foes for what he called a "coordinate effort to assassinate my character."
Now, I was not a huge fan of Dan Quayle. Back in 1988, the year of Willie Horton, can we all now agree that he was woefully unprepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? But I didn't feel for him the animosity and ridicule that so many Americans did -- and probably still do. This is especially true in the false light of ancient memory. So what that he couldn't spell "potato" correctly? Dick Cheney sure could spell potato all right -- and look at what trouble he caused as vice president. Instead, and perhaps naively, I always thought of Quayle the Elder more as a victim -- of circumstances, of politics, of a sort found readily in literature; the man-child who was in way over his head.