Children, gather round and let me tell you about a time before candidates vouched for the size of their, um, endowments on national television.
Was it really so long ago -- OK, actually, it was -- that a sunglasses-wearing Bill Clinton was criticized for going on "The Arsenio Hall Show" to play his saxophone? Clinton coarsened the discourse, we were told. How tame that seems in retrospect. How dignified.
I blame Clinton, actually, not for the Hall performance, but for a fateful moment during his presidency, at a 1994 MTV town hall, when a young woman asked, "Mr. President, the world is dying to know: Is it boxers or briefs?"
Clinton stared in open-mouthed disbelief, looked down, put hand to forehead -- then answered, "Usually briefs. I can't believe she did that." I happened to be at the event, and I couldn't believe he responded with anything other than an admonition that surely this questioner had been taught better.