Boys Will Be Boys. (I ragazzi saranno ragazzi)
As I have often said; the difference between American and Italian politics is that, unfortunately (purtroppo), there is no difference in that on both sides of the Atlantic the trivial is deemed importance and the important is trivialized. But the reason for the apparent electoral sex appeal of Silvio Berlusconi to many similarly endowed, ungracefully aging, surgically and/or chemically enhanced, round-faced, bald Italian voters who are the Italian versions I assume (presuppongo) of Karl Rove, Glen Beck, Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh is obvious. As to why female Italians might vote for Silvio, I refer to The Harvard Lampoon's centerfold of Henry Kissinger who was declared in a parody of Cosmopolitan magazine as "the world's sexiest man." To paraphrase Kissinger, wealth and power are the ultimate (gli ultimi) aphrodisiacs.
Sex as an issue in the highest reaches of American political office have as its lowest points US Senator and 1996 Republican Party Presidential candidate Bob Dole starring in Viagra (Viagra) commercials while, I assume (presuppongo), musing about his erectile disfunction, and goody two shoes President Jimmy Carter confessing to mental adultery. More manly post-JFK Belusconiesque US politicians have been, in alphabetical order, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Gary Hart, John McCain, David Paterson, Eliot Spitzer and of course Bill Clinton. The most recent American Silvio wannabe is South Carolina Governor, and no longer potential Republican Presidential candidate, Mark Sanford who, it is alleged, travelled to Argentina for horizontal Spanish lessons (lezioni spagnole orizzontali) on the public's money.
Another thing about Berlusconi's antics that makes American politicians envious is the rock star attention he gets in the press such as this story about a night in Silvio's "harem" from The Sunday Times: "Former escort girl tells of dinner party at Italian premier's home, where he showed off to female guests then took her to bed" Ironically it was the night of Obama’s historic victory when Silvio "threw a candlelite dinner party for three beautiful women at Palazzo Grazioli, his luxurious residence in Rome" where 42 year old former actress, and "escort," (l'escorta) Patrizia D’Addario, was asked "to stay the night. " Patrizia claims she taped the exchange. “Go and wait for me in the big bed,” the 72-year-old billionaire is said to have told her. He was going to have a shower and change into a bathrobe."
According to D’Addario, Silvio was expected at "an election night rally organised by the Italy-USA Foundation," but he (obviously) stayed at home (a casa) to celebrate his own conquests.
America's rock star is Barack Obama but compared to Silvio, he is relatively dull (so far at least.) As to nasty vices, the closet thing to adultery I can come up with for him is that he still smokes. Which reminds me of an old joke that was often told by my wife’s relatives. It seems that some neighbors were talking about a daughter of ill-repute. The only part of the joke that I can remember is " è abbastanza che non fumi." At least she doesn't smoke (Literally: It's enough that she doesn't smoke.) So according to traditional Italian-American values Obama ranks lower than Silvio and explains Staten Island's (la bella isola) vote for John McCain in the Presidential election last November while Silvio was partying in Rome.
In any case, while I started writing this, Berlusconi’s antics got page 6 in The New York Times as even the Vatican (il Vaticano) was now upset and Obama's nasty habit got only page 12.www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us/politics/24smoke.html
Both sinners shared the interest of a column by Maureen Dowd on “Vice and Spice” (Vizio e Spezia) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/opinion/24dowd.html