Memo To Would-Be Politicians: Have Daughters

Illustration for article titled Memo To Would-Be Politicians: Have Daughters

Forget experience, ideas, even trucks. The real political asset these days is something human and hopefully "available:" the daughter.


Sure, procreating in general can be good for a political career. It shows the candidate is human and capable of producing human gametes. Having a couple kids can also identify someone as a "decent family man" as opposed to, say, a terrorist. For women, the issue is more complicated — can she take care of her kids? How will she fit in both governing and soccer practice? Nonetheless, being a mom is now seen as a qualification for higher office, so kids can help out the ladies as well. But political hopefuls of both genders may want to take a page from Scott Brown's book and birth only girls. Here's why:

— Daughters make you seem female-friendly.

Writes Double X's Lauren Bans,

Before Sarah Palin entered the scene and destroyed all the moderate cred McCain possessed, John wore his daughter Meghan like a badge of moderate pride. However silly the logic, some felt comforted by Megan McCain because her hip, blogger personality meant John McCain couldn't really be that conservative. (Like: "If his daughter goes to Columbia and likes the Decemberists, there's no way he's anti-abortion!")

Bans notes that Chelsea Clinton served as "an example of the family's liberal elitism," and it's true that the powers of daughters are strongest for conservative candidates. Despite Coulter, Malkin, Palin et al, the Republican Party is still seen as anti-woman (who knows why?). Having some girls around counteracts this perception: the more women living in your house, the more pro-woman you must be. Especially if they do cool things (like go on American Idol!) or occasionally express vaguely liberal opinions.


— People will talk about them.

The media devotes a certain amount of attention to any political spawn, but girls, especially if they are conventionally attractive, are especially vulnerable to public speculation, scrutiny, and drooling. Yes, you might have to put up with Internet commenters offering to smear mayonnaise on your daughters, but photos of them in sexy but not-too-racy getups are a great way to get people talking about them — and you. And if for any reason America doesn't get the message that your offspring are fair game for their lust, it's a good idea to remind them.

— You can get mad at people for talking about them.


Once the American public and the media alike are mocking your daughters' websites, posting pictures of them on horseback, and drawing burqas on them, it's time to do a Palin: claim that your daughter's lives, despite their almost seamless integration into your campaign, should be off-limits to all reporting and criticism. This outrage will have the effect of making you look like a protective parent (see item 1), as well as directing even more attention to you and your kids. And so the cycle begins afresh.


Yes, the nine months required to carry a daughter to term may be more advantageous than years of actual political experience. But there's one caveat: if you have the kid out of wedlock, all bets are off.


Here Is Our Republican Savior With His Famous Daughters [Gawker]
Ayla Brown's Website For President [Wonkette]
Scott Brown, Cover Up Those Daughters! [Wonkette]
Ayla Brown: The Tracy Flick of Republican Daughters [Double X]
Scott Brown's Daughter Arianna Has A Thing For Horses [Animal]


Erin Gloria Ryan

If I run for political office, it will be alongside my pet lion Fabio. Having a pet lion sends voters a real "don't fuck with me or my lion will eat you" message.