Do you think the public has a legitimate right to know about a politician’s personal/romantic life? When, if ever, do you think a politician’s personal history is relevant to his/her ability to perform in office?
I do not think that we have to know every detail about politicians lives and history. Whether Senator John Doe is screwing secretary Sally most likely has zero bearing on how he'll vote on legislation or what bills he'll put forth. I think that what should matter in how we view the politicians is how they have voted on the issues that are important to us, what their campaign promises are and what their follow through rate is. I don't care if they have had 2 divorces, are gay, have kids out of wedlock or smoked pot in the eighties. What matters is how they are performing their duties right now and in the past, not what they are doing on their own time or before they became political figures.
If I came up for election right now I'd be ripped to shreds for my involvement in gay and transgender related organizations, past drug use and one year i didn't file my city taxes. OH NO! It happens, people, it happens. My involvements and youthful adventures shouldn't effect my ability to know the facts and act responsibly in the ways that my constituents want me to. i think this applies to every political person or candidate.
There is always so much mudslinging about their personal lives but I don't think that has much relevance to their job. i realize "family values" is high on everyone's list of priorities, but only certain families values are the priority, not every families. We look to the married person in their thirties or fourties with a kid or two and say " Oh you'd be great as councilperson because you're settled down and know what adult life is like." What about the thirty something single woman who spends a lot of time doing community activism? she doesn't count because she's a "spinster" or "potentially a lesbian". Women who don't get married or have kids are not automatically irresponsible people who can't hold office. If anything, they'll be more dedicated to their career because they don't have the obligations of kids.
that's just my 2 cents!