Everyone's used to politicians badmouthing each other and highlighting flaws in their opponents to try and belittle them in front of the eyes of the public.
In my little corner of the world, things like fraud and corruption regularly bubble to the surface, usually by way of the media. The police investigate and the offending politician is, more often than not, destroyed. Possibly literally, as they're not usually heard from again, but more likely because the parties distance themselves from the offending moron, who was stupid enough to misbehave while the public gaze was upon them.
The parties use incidents like that to discredit their rivals and question their abilities to govern.
Occasionally an irrelevant element of a politician's personal life will crop up as the focus of a jibe, but it's never seen as anything more than that. Using, say, a harmless hobby to try and smear someone in Parliament would be seen as monumentally petty.
"Petty" is not a word American politicians seem to have an understanding of.
Currently one of the candidates in the state senate race for New England is being attacked by her rivals for engaging in what they see as an evil and perverse pastime. A practice that they believe reflects one's personality and ambition with such clarity that we should see those who engage in it stripped of power altogether.
Good lord, what does she do? Watch snuff films? Practice witchcraft? Play "kitten football"?
No. She plays Warcraft. As an orc.[link]
I'm really not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of Republicans being given charge over a pair of scissors, let alone the world's best funded military force (again). If you guys wanna switch Prez; it's no business of mine, but can you put a party with a greater grip on reality in charge? Please? You've got plenty of smart, sane people there. Give one of them a shot!