I knew Dan Quayle... and you're a chip off the old block

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Ben Quayle, son of the error-prone former US vice-president, is a gaffe off the old block. Running for office in Arizona, he is committing blunders of his own which maintain the fine family tradition of embarrassing all and sundry.

Campaigning as a family-values conservative, Ben Quayle, 33, first denied then admitted that he wrote for a sex-steeped Arizona website, now known as TheDirty.com. The website's founder, Nik Richie, said Quayle used the alias "Brock Landers", the name of a character from the 1997 movie Boogie Nights about porn stars, and wrote lines such as: "My moral compass is so broken I can barely find the parking lot." Richie said Quayle "was the guy that, you know, people would send pictures to of hot chicks, and he would put together who he thought was the hottest girl and why". He boasted of his physique, comparing it to one of Michelangelo's works, and his sexual appeal. Quayle said he couldn't recall what his posts involved or when he made them.

This came out just days after Quayle sent out a campaign leaflet showing his wife and two young girls, with the words: "We are going to raise our family here." He and his wife have no children – the girls were his nieces. The clangers revive memories of his dad's missteps as vice president in President George H W Bush's administration: a classroom stumble in spelling the word "potato", musings on how terrible it is "not to have a mind", and declaring that "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child".

The senior Quayle's political career ended with the Republican ticket's loss in 1992 to Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Yet the famous name helped Ben jump to the front of the pack of 10 candidates vying for his party's nomination in a Republican-leaning district. The former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and George H W Bush and his wife, Barbara, have either given money or raised it for him.

Another famous name is also seeking a seat in the House this year. In New York, former President Richard Nixon's grandson, 30-year-old Christopher Nixon Cox, is running for a Republican nomination on Long Island.

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