In last Sunday’s New York Times, Maureen Dowd took a look at the latest role being thrust upon the campaign spouse: motivator-in-chief.
At least, that’s the way the candidates and would-be contenders she mentions — Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Donald Trump--want us to think it happens. By gosh, they wouldn’t have thought of jumping in if the wife hadn’t asked them to do it, for God and country. (Texas Gov.
Rick Perry has his own version of the campaign creation myth.)
But one candidate’s account of his deal with his wife rings far truer to me. A little more than a year ago, as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was considering whether to wage his long-shot campaign, he told me his wife had agreed to let him do it, with one stipulation.:
... the most pointed advice has been from his wife, Karen, who issued a dictate she had never given in his earlier endeavors.
“Do it right. Be serious about it,” Santorum recalled her telling him. “If you decide to do this, don’t embarrass me.”
Perhaps that explains his sudden surge in Iowa...
Karen Tumulty is Washington Post political reporter. Follow her on Twitter at @KTumulty.