But that pales against the really big deal in South Carolina. Ms. Haley has not once, but twice, had to deny claims from men who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with her. We can't tell whether these guys really did sleep with her or whether it was only their fantasies, but what has happened since is truly the stuff of dreams.

In a Palmetto shell, Haley, since being slimed by the adultery charges, has zoomed from back-in-the-pack to the lead. While it is true the endorsement from Sarah Palin sure didn't hurt her, neither did all the sex stuff, either, real and/or imagined.

This is a place where campaigning is anything but a genteel tea party, but perhaps the voters have finally decided that the innuendo game is one the girls can win when they go toe to toe with the boys (or whatever it is they go). No matter whether it's real or made up, maybe this is a smear that doesn't smear anymore.

If so, we can thank Mark Sanford and his Argentine entangoment, and before him, the legendary Strom Thurmond, who spent an entire life out to stud.

The people of South Carolina seem to be tired of hearing about this kind of thing. They might well consider adultery too juvenile to be a political issue. If so, this state that so cherishes its oppressive past could be leading the way to a sensible, liberated future — an example for all to follow.

Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.