- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Laura’s popularity

“From an ocean away, the popularity of Laura Bush may look perplexing. Since publishers have evinced no interest in the lame-duck president’s own memoirs, it might seem odd that they’ve been clamouring to commission the first lady’s.

“Why does Mrs. Bush … merit a multimillion-dollar book deal for her account of two terms in the White House, especially when she has played no role in crafting policy?

“A thumbnail explanation for her popularity is that it is in fact because Mrs. Bush has played no role in crafting policy. Thus she remains untainted by her husband’s dismal approval ratings.

“Americans appreciate that Laura Bush knows her place. … So when Hillary Clinton assumed responsibility for drafting national health-care reform … she was perceived as having exceeded her remit. Hillary’s botching of the job drove her back to hosting afternoon tea for the remainder of Bill Clinton’s administration and scotched any significant progress on health care for a generation.

“Laura Bush has never confused herself with an elective official. This ‘knowing her place’ is reflective of a larger temperamental modesty, the character trait that may most draw her country’s quiet but widespread admiration.”

-Lionel Shriver, writing in “Why Americans love Laura Bush,” in the Sunday Telegraph of London Nov. 16

Party rebuilding

“As the chief electoral vehicle for conservative and free-market ideas, the Republican Party cannot regain America’s confidence - nor should it - until the guilty have been cast into the nearest volcano.

“Comrade George W. Bush has spearheaded the most aggressive federal expansion since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As a delivery system for socialism, he has been the most effective Trojan Horse since that pine steed rolled into Troy. … Nevertheless, Bush is the GOP’s Jimmy Carter, a weak bumbler who embarrassed his constituents, betrayed his philosophical movement, sank his party, and eventually surrendered the White House to the opposition, this time led by the Senate’s Number One liberal, still in his first term. …

“John McCain and Sarah Palin campaigned energetically while advocating lower spending and tax cuts. Alas, the bailout fiasco cut them off at the knees. They otherwise might have prevailed, and deserve praise for trying to do the right thing.

“Once the GOP’s detritus is dislodged, rebuilding can begin. The best way Republicans can redeem themselves is to ask daily: ‘What would Reagan do?’”

-Deroy Murdock, writing in “Restoring Reaganism” on National Review Online Nov. 10

Being cool

“We threw the dice and we won the jackpot and elected a black guy with a Harvard degree, the middle name Hussein and a sense of humor … The French junior minister for human rights said, ‘On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes.’ When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? …

“The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He’ll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. He looks good in the kitchen. He can cook Indian or Chinese, but for his girls he will do mac and cheese. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit and constitutional law. I just can’t imagine anybody cooler.”

-Garrison Keillor, writing in “Wow! America is cool,” on Salon.com Nov. 12



Click to Read More

Click to Hide