They say it's all in fun. But whatever the disclaimers - and naturally they would give them - there's an unmistakable barb.
A story in the Idaho Statesman today notes that several dozen legislators - that's a lot out of a total 105 - have started wearing buttons promoting their wives for appointment to lieutenant governor.
Here's the background: That office is likely to come open in another month or two after Governor Dirk Kempthorne is confirmed (which is strongly probable) as Interior secretary and Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch steps up to replace him, leaving his current job vacant. Risch then gets to name his replacement. A number of names have surfaced, but the only person who we know has specifically asked Risch for the appointment is Kempthorne's wife, Patricia.
Hence, the buttons promoting my wife. The trend apparently started after friends of Representative Max Black, R-Boise, presented him with a joke "campaign button" for his wife. But the joke has spread, widely.
And it's not a commentary on the Kempthorne situation. Of course not.