Emmett Tyrrell
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WASHINGTON -- When I read the other day that the lapsed golfer Tiger Woods' nationwide approval rating had fallen from 87 percent to 33 percent, the only conclusion I could draw was that he had been out campaigning for the Democrats' health care plan. According to an interesting piece on him in the current Vanity Fair, the superb golfer now has a disapproval rating of 57 percent. Is this the consequence of his getting too close to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the glacial-faced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? No, apparently it is the consequence not of his associating with politicians, but rather of his living like one. His sex life has been exposed, and it is comparable to that of a particularly virulent germ.

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If the reporter for Vanity Fair is accurate, Woods' sex life is hyperactive, to say nothing of unhygienic. Yet his disastrous collapse in the polls still perplexes me. If he were president of the United States and being impeached for his wantonness, his polling numbers would soar. His critics would be assailed with that popular line from the 1990s, "it's only sex." Why, I ask, is a golfer being abominated for promiscuity? He tried to keep his sex life private. He did not flaunt his many gallantries. It is not as though he has cheated on his golf game, and if he has, so does Bill Clinton. There are whole books written about the former president's cheating on the golf course. Some Americans find it amusing. Others give Bill a good-natured pass.

Supposedly, the disapproval Woods is suffering is because he and his handlers carefully choreographed a squeaky-clean image for him. Yet most politicians live carefully choreographed lives. Worse, they invite the press to cover their lives, while they keep the unsavory stuff out of sight. Woods did not invite the press into his private life. He was a very private person. Unlike the politicians who invite the press into their homes while keeping the cuties out of sight, Woods never practiced such deception. Members of the press might at least show him the respect they once showed 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards, who played the reporters for fools.

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Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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