Monday, January 12, 2004

Laura Bush Flashback

Remember this kind of fair and balanced coverage?

There is nothing about Laura Bush that brings to mind that other political wife -- the one whose name draws hisses from the generally well-mannered crowds in Philadelphia and whose candidacy for the U.S. Senate is the object of convention-wide derision.

Just as George W. Bush's campaign strategists take great pains to portray his vision for America as a 180-degree departure from that of Bill Clinton, Laura Bush's public image is a careful response to a widespread distaste (and for many at this week's GOP convention, that's a very polite way of putting it) for Hillary Clinton. And accidentally or not, the GOP has found the perfect antidote to that weariness: Laura Bush.

She is, to put it quite simply, the anti-Hillary. She comes across as bright but unthreatening -- a reluctant but dependable political wife who's dedicated to her husband's campaign simply because she loves him, and not, as she herself is quick to point out, because she's interested in the spotlight. Bush himself loves to remind voters of his wife's appealing reticence. The story of his proposal, and Laura's response, has already become a stump speech chestnut: "I asked her to marry me," he'll tell a cheering crowd, "and she said, 'Yes. But only if you promise me that I'll never have to make a campaign speech.'"

Remember when staying out of politics was the right thing to do for a spouse? A good little woman?

oy. Bite me, eggman.