NPR logo Politics: What Really Matters?

Politics: What Really Matters?

Since we're talking politics, in case you haven't seen New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's "job interview" for President of the United States...

Telling some family business here: when I worked at Nightline, the ABC News program anchored by Ted Koppel, the show generally only covered one issue each night. Thus, we would often have these "debates" over which story was most important, interesting, etc. "Debates" is a nice word ...but sometimes we would have real brawls. My old boss Ted (a term he hated by the way — he preferred "friend and colleague" — but I digress) usually just listened, or he might ask a few pointed questions, because he knew if, and when, he did weigh-in the conversation would usually be over. Everybody would just do whatever he wanted. I always liked that he just let the staff kind of duke it out a while (not that I emulate him...).

One of the other things I liked was how, when we'd get all high and mighty about how we were not going to go tabloid...we were not going to talk about X,Y, or Z just because cable was all over it...he might raise an eyebrow and say, "Well, just because everybody else is talking about it doesn't mean we can't."

Well alrighty then!

That brings me to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, whose affair with a TV newscaster is all in the papers. Boy, what a soap opera!...Talk about your business in the street!

Now some of you may be saying, "what do I care if he's handling the city's business?" But maybe some of you do care. Maybe some of you subscribe to the "if his wife can't trust him, why should I?" school of voting. The point is, nobody can tell you, as a voter, what your mayor may not care about. This is why we're so interested in this stuff, because you never can tell.

Does it matter? And what does it say about us, as a country?

Our roundtable today kicked it around. Now, how about you?
Do these issues matter to you when you cast your vote?
Does it matter who it is or what the circumstances were?...Man or woman?

Here's a brainteaser: I can't think of any high profile woman politician that has EVER admitted infidelity and retained her seat. Can you? (Ken Rudin, help!)
So let us know...

P.S. Speaking of shameless, here's a shameless pitch for Wisdom Watch suggestions: you heard from Gen. Wilma Vaught, USAF, ret. today. Who else would you like to hear from? Someone who is not just smart, but wise...

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