Private Life, Public Office

What must voters know about a candidate for President? Abandoning his race for the White House, Gary Hart complained that he had in effect been put under a microscope and then dissected, like "some extraordinary creature." Just so. In selecting a President, voters must judge not only a man's resume and policies but also his character. Yet what constitutes character? When is an inquiry into a politician's private behavior valid, and when is it an intrusion that says nothing about his abilities?

George Reedy, press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson

"What counts with a candidate for President is his character, and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!