The problem is something called "Coulrophobia." It means fear of clowns and comes from the Greek meaning, "fear of people on stilts." Dr. Stubbs and Krusty make us want to get out of any place they are in as soon as possible.
Along those lines, there is an uncomfortable connection between clowns and politics. The political clown's job is to distract attention from real issues through extravagant behavior and to redirect attention to themselves and whatever story they invent. Political clowns perform this function through "spin" powered by the belief that if something is said loudly and often enough it becomes true. The bleating of political clowns make the boy who cried wolf seem honorably prescient by comparison. In a 24/7 news cycle world filled with competing political clowns, the job has ridiculous importance, built on tantalizing, but dissembled, trivialized and misleading, sound bite "wedgies." In this case, a "wedgie" is an ancillary, but exploitable, bias looking for a reason to blossom into a useful cover for the bias itself.
Presidential campaigns begin trying for true relevance, and in early contests, when there are many candidates, this is possible, and there is no chance to focus on sock color or flag pins. But sitting in the wings of the public imagination, fomenting, are the clowns waiting for the field to narrow so they can destroy the public conversation and any substantial idea or controversial challenge with 1,000 paper cuts.
Cable TV news and the Internet are oxygen to the industry of political clowning, which aims to influence the obsessive competition for swing voters, often with a one-issue focus. We are often seduced and passively entertained by political clowns, like a magician's audience suspending belief and falling happily for the distractions upon which successful slight of hand is dependent.
The Nobel Prize-winning German novelist, Henrich Boll, who held up a Dark Side mirror to post-war Germany, wrote a novel, The Clown, that warned clowns of the dangers of actually believing their own shtick:
... I fall into the most embarrassing trap to which a clown is ever exposed – I laugh at my own tricks. A ghastly humiliation ... [it was] the desperate icy control with which I turned myself into a puppet; it was terrible ...