The Family Guy

"Sir, I’ve served with family men; I knew family men; family men are friends of mine. Mr. Quayle, you are no family man." This might be Lloyd Bentsen’s response to a political mailer being sent by Dan Quayle’s son, Ben, in his quest to fill the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. John Shadegg in Arizona.

CQ Politics recently blogged about the mailer, which shows the candidate with two little girls, although he himself has no children (see the link to the full blog for a snapshot of the mailer):

Congressional candidate Ben Quayle, son of the former vice president, is raising some eyebrows with direct mail pieces that seem to invite readers to presume he and his wife have more than just themselves and a dog to take care of.

The Arizona Capitol Times’ Bill Bertolino reports that the campaign uses shot above in two mailings. Part of the cutline reads, "Tiffany and I live in this district and we are going to raise our family here."

Writes Bertolino: "Is Quayle intentionally trying to leave voters with the impression that he’s a ‘family man’? It’s plausible.He’s been a frequent target of many of his nine opponents — all of whom are older than him and have children — for what they call his thin resume and lack of life experience."

When asked that question, Quayle’s campaign said the girls in the picture are relatives of a staff member who happened to be at a campaign event.

"I think you guys have got a lot of time on your hands," said spokesman Damon Moley. "They’re just terribly cute kids."

"We are presenting Ben as a pro-family candidate because he is a pro-family candidate," Moley said. "We are presenting him as a traditional-values candidate because he is a traditional values candidate."

So what do you think? Are the media and critics right to say the mailer is misleading, or is it just savvy politics on Quayle’s part and nothing more?