Politics and Families Don't Mix.

by Meredith O’Brien


Just a few months back, we wrapped up a mid-term election season in which several, prominent female pols were promoted as “mama grizzlies” who not only protect their own children, but vowed to watch over the voters’ kids as well. And while it is heartening to see more women with children entering into the political fray, I can’t help but wonder what the impact of the uptick in political attacks on politicians’ offspring will do for future candidates who can’t bear to subject their sons and daughters to intense scrutiny as seems to be the case these days.


This thought has been on my mind a lot as I’ve been continuing to watch, with tremendous fascination, the fictional depiction of the impact of a political campaign on a family on CBS’ The Good Wife, where wading into the political waters seems particularly treacherous for families, especially if they don’t want to see their children dragged through the muck along with their parents.


The backstory of The Good Wife sounds a lot like the backstory of any number of real-life politicians: A Chicago state’s attorney, Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) was convicted on corruption charges and also admitted to have sex with at least one prostitute. While he was incarcerated, his humiliated wife Alicia, played by Julianna Margulies, re-entered the legal profession after having taken time off to help her husband’s career and raise their two kids, now both young teens.