Monday, July 19, 2004

Well, the obvious lesson to be learned from this Newsweek article about the Cheneys is that there are an awful lot of rather un-girly things a woman in politics can do without being called a witch, a bitch, a beast, or a Hitler if she's a Republican and her name isn't Clinton:

...after the camera was turned off, Lynne Cheney, who had been forcefully interjecting herself throughout the interview, lit into Scully. She chastised the interviewer for questioning her husband's place on the ticket, according to a source who has spoken to the Cheneys. The outburst seemed uncalled for; Scully is about the most mild-mannered, nonconfrontational talk-show host in Washington. Asked about the incident by NEWSWEEK, Mary Matalin, the former White House aide who acts as an informal media and political adviser and part-time spinner for the Cheneys, explained that Mrs. Cheney was irked because the interview had been pitched by C-Span as an "at-home-with-the-Cheneys thing," not as a hard-news interview....

Daughter Liz is personable, but tough-minded. The mother of four, she was back at work within a week of having the Cheneys' first grandson earlier this month. She has e-mailed Bush-Cheney officials as early as 5 a.m., and she was even seen working during Ronald Reagan's funeral, sending messages via BlackBerry from inside the National Cathedral....

But as a bonus you get the campaign's Cheney spin in one packed sentence, from Mary Matalin:

"...He is a reassuring guy, not because he has grandchildren sitting on his lap, but because he just exudes depth and breadth and experience and competence."

That leaves me breathless. That's three bullet points in twenty-six words, and the most breathtakingly audacious one slips by almost subliminally: He is a reassuring guy. To a sensible person, of course, he's about as reassuring as an unattended roadside parcel in the Sunni Triangle, but never mind -- Matalin works the memes brilliantly, seeming to prove the counterintuitive one with a noncontroversial one (yeah, he probably does love his grandkids -- though it beats me how that makes him reassuring), then zipping right to the curriculum vitae part of the sentence, which sums up his work in surprising spring-zephyr sibilances ("exudes," "experience"), not words that sound like what you or I would associate with Cheney ("curmudgeon," "fetid").

Oh, yeah -- they're going to sell this guy right back to us in the fall.

No comments: