Wednesday, September 01, 2004

impressions of the Bush ladies at the RNC

I have heard mixed reviews of the performance of Mrs. Bush and her daughters last night. Now I'm no professional, but here's my take:

1) Mrs. Bush gave a good, if not exciting, speech. But that is the lady that she is--good, to her core, but not very exciting. She trumpeted some of her husband's achievements domestically, spoke honestly about the greatest legacy of her generation to the next generation (the battle against terror), and all the while presented herself in a very classy and gentle way. It was the Laura Bush that mothers, whether they be conservative or liberal, identify with, and for that reason it was exactly what she needed to do. It wasn't about herself, just like this election is not about herself. It was about her husband, her kids, and her position to watch HIM help not just THEM, but ALL of the next generation. To me, it was good. But what do I know?;

2) As for the twins, I will say this: they shoulda stayed away from their Grandma. But other than that, how about this for a take: for years, definitely since I've followed politics, the Republicans have been painted as the party that didn't "enjoy" the liberties of this country. They're too serious and caught up in their own importance to have a little fun, the story goes. Yet, in this convention, we have seen some immensely entertaining moments--I mean, some down-right side-splitting-from-laughter moments. And the Bush twins provided more than a few chortles last night. Clearly, it was amateur hour--but it was an honest performance, and it was fun.

But, to me, the girls' appearance goes along hand-in-hand with the theme of the convention: their Dad is an everyman. And his party is one that belongs not to those who hate, or only to those who are wealthy, or only to those who served heroically thousands of moons ago--it belongs to everyone. (You also see this from Arnold's speech--Republicans can be just about anybody!) Talk about "big-tent" at it's finest!

Even more than that, though, the Bush women--all 3 of them--told us--both with what they said and how they said it--that the weight of the office hadn't changed their Dad. That's about as much testament to his moral clarity, perseverence and "comfort with his own skin" as anything else that can be offered. The Dems' convention ran away from the person Kerry IS--whereas the GOP is putting W out on a platter. And from where I sit, that's how you get swing voters.

Personally, I think last night was a huge "W" for "W".

It may take a while for it to sink in to the stodgy old-timers of the party.

But they weren't the audience targeted last night. Last night was as much about the GOP in the year 2020 as it was about the GOP today.

Could the differences between the two conventions be any greater?


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