By: Jason Turner, The Lantern (Ohio State U.)
October 24, 2006 8:35 PM
(U-WIRE) COLUMBUS, Ohio - If you do not already know who Sandy Sullivan is, you probably will soon. Sullivan, who has been all over the news, is a 65-year-old woman running for Secretary of State in Wisconsin. She is a business owner, a Republican and the widow of a dentist, but more than anything else, she is a huge Green Bay Packers fan.
In 2004 she published a book called "Green Bay Love Stories and Other Affairs." Sullivan has no experience in office, but in a daring political move that must mystify Tom Foley and former President Clinton, she is politicizing her promiscuous past as a Green Bay Packer groupie.
Lasciviousness is a less-than-conventional political platform, but Sullivan is hoping her new, free-spirited, free-loving image will be the key to her victory in the great Badger State.
Although her chances of winning the election are not good, this spicy new twist has brought national attention to a controversial, if not competitive, race for Secretary of State. Because I do not live in Wisconsin and do not plan on moving there, I will not be voting in the election, but it still bothers me. I am not sure if it concerns me more that someone is actually running for office on this kind of platform, or that it might actually work.
Gradually, understandably, after enough R-rated half-time shows, teacher-student affairs, intern scandals, page scandals and episodes of "To Catch a Predator," people start to become desensitized to sexual misconduct. It is easy to become calloused to all the illicit behavior we see on TV and in the media.
Our expectations have become so low that no one seems surprised anymore when men and women cheat on each other, married celebrities hook-up, or someone sleeps around with the Green Bay Packers. If anything, behavior like that is generally celebrated these days, but are things so bad that someone would get elected, not in spite of, but because of their promiscuous past?
It might be a little early in the election process to be speculating about the moral climate in America. We will not really know anything until the votes in Wisconsin are counted, or at least until the exit polls are conducted and then misinterpreted. It could be the case that nothing much has changed.
In the 1960s, John F. Kennedy was not only popular, but he was a notorious womanizer as well. Maybe politicians have always been cheaters. Maybe the difference is back then nobody asked questions because nobody wanted to know. In any case, Kennedy had the good sense to keep quiet, to not get caught and to not make his personal life the center of his campaign.
It seems unlikely all the attention Sullivan's book is getting now is merely coincidence. First because it has been out since 2004 and second because it is just too close to November. I have to believe this is a political tactic, like kissing babies, or inviting the media to come visit you at church.
Although I swear this is the last time I will be surprised by a political tactic, I would be shocked if there ever came a time when we celebrated modesty the way we do sexual empowerment. Even though we should be free to express our sexuality, it does not mean you should publish a book about it, or make it the center of your campaign for Secretary of State.
It is fun to speculate about what inspired Sullivan to run for office. Maybe she just liked her chances, or maybe she saw Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous Girl" video one too many times and decided the public was ready to elect a groupie.
No matter what her reasoning was, you can be sure the political ads in Wisconsin this year are a heck of a lot better than they are here.