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Is a politician’s personal life relevant to voters?

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New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer and his wife Silda at a 2008 press conference where he confessed to patronizing a prostitute. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Hour 1

When does a politician’s personal life become relevant to voters?  With the 2012 presidential primary looming, the marriages and relationships of several possible contenders have come under scrutiny. There’s Newt Gingrich’s confessions of infidelity and three marriages and Mitch Daniels’ remarriage to his first wife, who left her family to marry another man.  Add former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s admission that he fathered a child 10 years ago while married to Maria Shriver. And let’s not forget the infidelities of John Edwards and Bill Clinton.  Oh, we’ll also mention Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, who was arrested this weekend in New York for the alleged sexual attack of a hotel housekeeper.  So should we judge our politicians and elected officials by their private behavior?  Do their marriages — and the private lives of their wives — matter?  And what does all of this say about character and the ability to lead?  We’ll pose these questions to our two guests — Washington journalist MELINDA HENNEBERGER and former political and media strategist DAN SCHNUR.

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[audio: 051811_100630.mp3]

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