The Value of Values

We’ve been kind of harsh on the Globe this week, so we thought we’d end on a positive note. The paper’s Campaign Notebook brings a little smile to our face, usually because there’s a great quote from former governor Mitt Romney. In today’s edition, Romney takes a voter’s question about family values and turns it into a commentary on the Clinton family.

Spell it out for us, Mitt.

“There’s no question that one of the ways that you help instill family values is by having the White House be a place that demonstrates that,” Romney said. “So I think that during the last Clinton presidency, the White House did not demonstrate that in a way that was helpful for our nation’s culture. . . . At least during the time you’re in the White House, you ought to live by a high standard, because the world is looking at you, you’re representing not only yourself but your country, and the kids of America are looking at you.”

Romney very cleverly cites the “last Clinton presidency” in the hopes that voters will think it was Hillary who taught a generation of American children another use for a cigar. Her supporters will say that the former first lady showed her commitment to family by forgiving Bill Clinton his dalliances. Her detractors will say that she stood by him because of a lust for power. Still, it’s nice to think back to when the biggest problem the White House had was its sex life.

But what really rang false with us is the idea that kids use the White House as their moral compass. Kids these days are too busy begging their parents to spend their retirement money on Hannah Montana tickets to care what some old guy is doing in Washington.