And that’s just the part that the camera captured. For all we know, he may have touched her arm or even taken her hand at some point in the evening. Who knows how dirty the public displays of affection get between this man and his lawfully wedded spouse?

One of the fringe benefits of Fred getting the nomination will be watching the left tie itself in knots trying to insult his much younger (but not that much younger) wife while avoiding the pitfalls of their own rhetoric on Clinton, feminism, and sexual liberation, all of which Ace is already using to great effect. Some of them will make no pretense of what they’re doing and go whole hog with “work the pole” cracks, but most will dress it up as “political criticism” to legitimize it to themselves and, more importantly, to the media. Expect loads of phony outrage about hypocrisy, divorce, and the “family values” party despite the fact that Giuliani and McCain are also divorced (as was Ronald Reagan) and their wives have been notably and thankfully spared any innuendo.

It’s transparent nonsense anyway. The fact is, the same snide remarks would be directed at Jeri Thompson even if this was Fred’s first marriage because it’s not his divorce that irks them, it’s the fact that she’s young and attractive and thus tends to rebuke by her mere presence the liberal narrative that all conservatives are anti-sex and incapable of relating to people, especially young people, on the most basic level. They’ll deny it, but secretly the left understands that their perceived hipness is a political asset for them. Anything that plays well with younger voters and adds a certain fashionableness to being liberal is all to the good; whatever “branding” George Lakoff may have in mind, that sort of branding is vastly more valuable. A semi-related example: some moron at HuffPo called me on the carpet a few weeks ago for making a toilet joke in connection with Sheryl Crow saying we should use one square of TP to wipe. He was taken aback; conservatives don’t do that, you see. They’re old, humorless, “out of touch,” and find it constitutionally impossible to relate to anyone younger, even via something as universal as shinola jokes. If “The Half-Hour News Hour” didn’t reek, which, sadly, it does, they’d claim that it did just to remind people that humor, like race, is entirely a function of political ideology. Just like they’ll be “reminding” people throughout the campaign that Fred’s wife is the bad kind of attractive, not the good kind of attractive like, say, Nancy Pelosi.

Exit question: A lot of people have e-mailed to ask that we try to land an interview with Fred, but I’m thinking that would necessarily end up being the same old same old “here’s where I stand” snoozer. Instead of Fred, how about trying for an interview with Jeri? She strikes me as a tough cookie, as one would have to be to deal with him, I’d imagine. I bet she’d have some interesting things to say to her detractors.

Tags: Nancy Pelosi