On the eve of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, I thought I’d share these memories of the worst things that were said about Presidential candidates in years gone by:
1976: Jimmy Carter had a brother named Billy who apparently really liked beer.
1980: Ronald Reagan made some bad movies, and was the first President to have been divorced.
1988: Gary Hart was a front-runner until it was found out that he was having an affair with Donna Rice. Within a week he quit the race.
1988: Joe Biden plagiarized a speech, and quickly withdrew from the race.
1992: Bill Clinton was rumored to have had affairs, and he was the first major candidate to admit to smoking marijuana (though he apparently didn’t inhale).
1996: Bob Dole seemed really grumpy.
2000: George Bush was the first presidential candidate where I can remember thinking, “Um, he doesn’t seem very smart. Shouldn’t there be an IQ test for this position?”
(I would later come to think that there should be an “Enlightenment Test,” where Presidents have to think about “100 years from now” as much as they think about today.)
2008: John Edwards: affair, dropped out
I’m sure there’s more than that, but that’s all I can remember at the moment.