In this day and age candidates seemingly can survive anything being dredged up from their past including diaper wearing, affairs, witchcraft and who knows what else and still run for, and be elected to office.
A candidates religion, at one time a major hurdle e.g. Al Smith's Catholicism, was put to rest with JFK's victory. Race, surely the biggest hurdle too date, was knocked on the head as an impediment with Obama's win. Now it appears the final hurdle, and apparently the toughest, is gender. Hillary Clinton fell at this last barrier but it is possible however that Sarah Palin may be the one to break through this "glass ceiling".
When all reasonable impediments are out of the way there will always remain one which can be insurmountable-and that of course ridicule and satire !
We saw have devastating to Palin's campaign for Vice President a single line from Tina Fey on SNL "I can see Russia from my house' was .It was so devastating that even now professional journalists still think that Palin herself actually said those words. President Ford never recovered from the bumbling image the satirists created for him after he slipped a few times coming down an airplane steps-there are instances too numerous to catalogue of political careers being destoryed by being lampooned.
A blog has posted a comparison of Mitt Romney with the fictional television character Max Headroom
asking if he and Romney might be brothers. He asks this as they, in his opinion share the same characteristics
and posits, hilariously
"But it may be that he is too stiff – like Max. He is a little too perfect in his dress and, like Max, he has a helmet of hair. America doesn’t need a plastic president unless of course he/she can be recycled"
This image of Romney as Max Headroom is, I believe,totally devastating. It will be used on opponents blogs throughout any campaign the poor man may undertake as, frankly, there is an element of truth behind it-which is of course the core of all satire. It has taken palin two years to rehabilitate her image which is still a work in progress.For Romney,who can overcome concerns about his religion and, a bit more problematically his Massachusetts health care legislation, but with the Max Headroom comparison, two years, if ever won't be long enough to change the public perception of the negative imagery.