The Blog

New Presidential Litmus Test: How Horny Are You for the Job?

Would you rather be getting down with your spouse or getting the political lowdown from Henry Paulson, Stephen Hadley, and John Negroponte?
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I've always believed that we need more leaders who aren't so desperate for the offices they seek, whose self-worth and sense of identity aren't so tied to the titles they aspire to hold.

It would certainly cut down on the modern political plague of candidates so terrified of not attaining the thing they desire above all else they become willing to give up their own vision and listen to any political consultant they think can deliver them to the Political Promised Land.

That's why I was pleased to hear that while Joe Biden is interested in becoming president, he's actually not all that horny for the job. "I'd rather be at home making love to my wife while the children are asleep," he recently told a group of young supporters.

A Biden spokesman followed up by saying this shows that running for president "is not an egotistical pursuit" for Biden and that he is "totally in love with his wife."

Hard to argue with that. After all, Biden and his wife Jill have been married for 29 years. The fact that they're still having sex -- let alone sex that is more enticing than the presidency -- is no small achievement.

But I must admit to being a bit confused by the stipulation that said sex can only take place after the children are asleep. Is this some kind of nod to the mythical "values voter" crowd? Even so, it seems a bit extreme given that Biden's youngest child is his 25-year-old daughter and his two sons are in their mid-30s. So does the Bidens' foreplay include a quick call to his children to make sure they're all asleep (and wouldn't this defeat the purpose by waking them up?). Or do "the kids" zap him a nightly message on his BlackBerry, telling him when they're hitting the hay so the folks know its okay to fire up the fireplace and the Barry White CD?

But however it works, it's good to know that Biden is hotter for the Mrs. than he is for the Oval Office.

David Gergen agrees. I ran into him today at the Fortune Brainstorm Conference in Aspen and asked him what he thought of Biden's "I'd rather be humping" declaration. "That's a healthy sign," Gergen, the insiders' insider, told me. "JFK was the first politician to really lunge for the presidency. Since then, that's been the general trend -- candidates lunging for high office as opposed to leaning back. It's time for course correcting."

Maybe Biden will start a new trend. Perhaps we should make Biden's stance the new litmus test for presidential candidates: Would you rather be getting down with your spouse or getting the political lowdown from Henry Paulson, Stephen Hadley, and John Negroponte?