October 31st, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #650 'Ladybugs, Halloween, and the tricks among the treats'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: I don’t think one can trick or treat at the White House. Of course, I didn’t think I could post a letter every day for more than a year and half and not get a visit from the Secret Service either, so go figure.

Dear Mr. President,

We’re very big on Halloween at our house. Our basement has enough costumes in it to spur accusations that we are running an unlicensed dinner theater, albeit one that seems to specialize in rarely seen stage revivals of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

So I was both entertained, and - what’s the word? - intrigued by a report that Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell showed up on Halloween some years back dressed as a ladybug. As a practical matter I don’t even drink, and yet on any given day of the year there is a reasonable chance I’ll slap on a pirate hat and go for a stroll, or slip into a cape for a 7-11 run, or even hit the McDonald’s drive-through sporting Groucho glasses and a fake nose.

Where the O’Donnell story gets sticky, of course, is in the part about her alleged escapades in her ladybug regalia. I won’t get into the seamy details in the report, nor do I want to excite more of the furor that followed. Suffice to say, the critics are right: This report was sleazy, demeaning to the political process and to O’Donnell, and it makes you want to go wash your hands. (Right after reading the article, the rebuttal, the follow-up, and looking at all the pictures, of course.)

But I fear in the political climate of today we’ll never see the end of such tales; and a lot of men and women will come to regret nights of less than circumspect behavior. I’m not going to say a word of judgment about that behavior. We have plenty of “social values” watchdogs on the left and the right which bark relentlessly over such issues.