August 31, 2004

We Interrupt This Wallowing in Shallowness

. . . to tell you what I really think. Wow! Two posts in a row: I'm getting into Wonkette territory, except that I haven't mentioned K-Y yet. Oops.

Arnold I heard more than saw, and it just blows me away that someone who speaks English as a second language can do what he did tonight. I anticipate some reform soon in the rules on who can be President. The second-most-famous Austrian in history may well occupy the White House in my lifetime.

Mrs. Bush did a brilliant job, despite the fact that she's clearly more comfortable reading to fourth graders than to a bunch of delegates in Madison Square Garden. She's not a terrific speaker, and—as with her husband's problems in forming sentences—I'm not sure it's as great a disadvantage as some think: in both George and Laura people see a sort of unpolished greatness that makes them feel they are getting the genuine article. The Bushes come across as very real. And she told the two stories she needed to tell: 1) how social programs under Bush 43 underscore the "compassionate" side of his administration, and 2) the agonizing W. went through when he was making the decision to go to war.

And Mrs. Bush does one thing amazingly well: she has an infectious, piercing smile, which the makeup artist played up beautifully with bright red lipstick that matched elements in the background they provided for her speech. (Did you notice?) She is probably the third most popular first lady in recent history, right behind Jackie Kennedy and Barbara Bush. (Of course, there is Lady Bird, but I'll need someone a little older than I am to tell us how she fits in.)

I think I'd like Teresa as a person: I think she'd be interesting to know. But Laura Bush embodies certain virtues people want to see right now, and if the election were held on the basis of potential first ladies rather than their spouses, it would be a lock. I probably wouldn't bother to vote, even if I did live in a battleground state: it would be whatever is bigger than a "landslide."

Which brings me to the Bush twins. Who approved that copy? Making fun of your grandmother is one thing. Making fun of your grandmother who is a respected icon of dignity and grace is an awful idea. I hear it was supposed to be self-satire about what young troublemakers they are, but the piece of it I heard (I was making a sandwich during much of it) was awful.

However, they are so beautiful that I suspect all will be forgotten in the morning. As many have remarked, it would be a tough, tough race if this were about first daughters: those are four remarkable (and remarkable-looking) young women.

Posted by Attila at August 31, 2004 11:08 PM

I didn't think the girls were bad at all. I've already acknowledged elsewhere that I'm in the minority on this, but that's okay. I thought they were genuinely funny and charming, in that "We're 22 years old and completely out of our depth here" kind of way. Not at all in that Audrey Hepburn "I'm pretending to be out of my league but in fact I have it all under control" way, but the genuine "if we have to do this for another minute, we're both going to collapse into hysterical tears" way. It was vulnerable and genuine, and I liked it.

And as for the "Sex and the City" gag... did you happen to notice that Rudy was literally doubled over laughing during the cut-away? He was having a ball with it. I think lots of others were having fun too.

What I find most interesting of all, though, is that the most vicious anti-Republican commentators are now, after two days of convention speeches, talking about these two 22-year-old girls.

Guess our party must be doing something right.

Posted by: Jeff Harrell at August 31, 2004 11:27 PM

Hm. Then it sounds like I need to see the whole thing, so I can judge the remarks I thought were dicey in context.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 1, 2004 12:28 AM

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