Doris Kearns Goodwin’s ‘Benignity of Marital Infidelity Among Public Figures’ Theory Immediately Falls Apart

Earlier this week, goofball historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was longing for the days when excusing extramarital affairs was the only way to keep good people in public life. She referenced Roosevelt, who had a female mistress (as did Eleanor’s husband, Franklin), and of course Kearns Goodwin invoked Bubba and his magical graphite zipper. Also David Patreaus:

“I wish we could go back to the time when the private lives of our public figures were relevant only if they directly affected their public responsibilities….This man was a great general, a great leader, and for his career to come to an end because of a private matter that affects his family and him and evidently doesn’t have national security concerns.”

People’s Exhibit A of why Kearns Goodwin couldn’t be more wrong:

Paula Broadwell, the author who allegedly had an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus, is suspected of storing significant amounts of military documents, including classified material, at her home, potentially in violation of federal law.

A source familiar with case told ABC News that Broadwell admitted to the FBI she took the documents from secure government buildings. The government demanded that they all be given back, and when federal agents descended on her North Carolina home on Monday night it was a pre-arranged meeting.

I’m all for privacy, but with some public figures who hold sensitive government positions, the risk of being compromised is just too great. As for politicians, I always figured if you can’t trust them to uphold marital vows, how can they be trusted to uphold their oath of office?

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: