Taegan Goddard notes how some political missteps haunt their candidates forever, while others are soon forgotten. Howard Dean screeching on a stage in Iowa, instantly becomes the stuff of political history, but when George W. Bush admits that he was once arrested for driving under the influence, it’s mostly ignored by the media and quickly fades into obscurity. Some politicians, as they used to say of Ronald Reagan, seem coated in Teflon, while others seem covered in Krazy Glue, unable to shake the stickiness of what seem like minor embarrassments
Matt Bai in the New York Times Blog theorizes:
Whether or not a bad moment sticks to the candidate depends on how closely related it is to the core rationale of that candidate or his opponent. In other words, if your gaffe goes directly to the main argument you are trying to make about yourself with the electorate, or if it substantiates the most relevant thing that your rival would have us believe about you, then it has the potential to become a serious problem. If, on the other hand, you do something completely idiotic that is tangential to what voters most hope or fear about you, then you tend to get a pass.
I see this as yet another example of the media’s double standards concerning Democratic and Republican candidates. Rev. Wright’s statements are still seen out of context on the news every night and are burning up YouTube, yet very little is said about McCain’s connection with Rev. John Hagee, the outrageous statements by Pat Robertson over the years, and the Religious Right’s close relationship with cult leader Rev. Sun-myung Moon.