The harder these fierce champions of “family values” struggle to deny all sexual appetite—their own (publicly, at any rate) and everybody else’s—the more such craving rears its ugly head.
The above photo was subsequently replaced on the Telegraph website by this one:
Would Rumors About His Marriage Haunt a Rick Perry Run?
6/22/11 at 5:00 PM
Rick Perry, if he enters the GOP primary race, will be well-positioned to chip away at Mitt Romney’s front-runner status. But while Romney has, at least for political purposes, an impeccable marriage to wife Ann, Perry’s marriage to wife Anita has long been dogged, at least inside Texas, by whispers.
Politico resurfaced the rumors for the national crowd this week, explaining that “his team is more than prepared for a re-airing of unsubstantiated rumors.” (For instance, in Politico articles re-airing them. Or Daily Intel posts discussing those articles.) The most vicious gossip, which Perry publicly addressed in 2004, alleged that he was gay and had cheated on his wife with a member of his administration. The Austin Chronicle, the one paper that seems to have been willing to devote actual ink to the story, wrote that though they were “extraordinary in their baroque detail and remarkable persistence,” there was no evidence whatsoever, and “numerous other reporters, from here to New York, have looked into the rumors, with, as far as we know, an identical lack of results.”
But the gossip didn’t go entirely dormant, at least not when it was politically expedient: Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Perry’s opponent in the 2010 gubernatorial election, juiced up the SEO keywords of her campaign website with “rick perry gay.” That same election, a Democratic PAC ran an ad in most of the major Texas newspapers that was clearly meant to remind voters that Perry’s red-blooded American maleness wasn’t an established fact: “When he’s not in San Francisco … Perry’s … flipping through the pages of his Food and Wine magazine … in his fancy … rental mansion,” read the copy. (Perry does not support gay marriage; Texas Democrats, theoretically, have made LGBTQ rights an important part of their platform. The party was silent on the gay-baiting ads.)