Friday, July 28, 2006

Steve Benen links to this story, which tells about a recent presidential photo op in West Virginia:

...The president's motorcade came to a halt when Bush stopped to buy some lemonade from a South Hills girl on his way out of town.

Charleston attorney John Miesner's 8-year-old daughter, Mary Melinda, set up a lemonade stand....

Little did they know that the president would drop in for a cold drink....

Bush told the kids he liked their marketing campaign, which included signs that read "God bless W" and "Lemonade for the President, 50 cents."

He bought a few cups for reporters and photographers traveling with him....

Bush did not drink the lemonade himself, telling the kids he had to watch his weight since he turned 60, Miesner said....

Think about that last part. Now, try to imagine what the reaction would have been if a prominent Democrat had stopped at a lemonade stand run by kids and refused to sample the product, with a frou-frou excuse about the need to maintain a youthful wasteline.

Let's go back to 2004:

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) today expressed his disappointment regarding a Kerry-Edwards campaign photo-op stop at a Wendy's for the Edwards' anniversary dinner only to have gourmet catered lunch waiting for them on the campaign bus.

"In their relentless pursuit of the ultimate extreme makeover, Kerry and Edwards continue to put up a facade of who they are," Diaz-Balart said. "Nothing is wrong with two rich men enjoying a meal at Wendy's. But why would you have gourmet catered food to eat afterward? Was the Frosty not good enough?

"If you are going to have a photo-op at Wendy's to show you are a regular guy, then at least have the decency and honesty to eat the food...."

And Bush didn't just reject humble fare. He rejected humble fare prepared by children -- innocent, God-fearing, mostly fair-haired, fair-skinned children.

Hillary Clinton had better not think she can get away with this. The rules would be very different for her.

UPDATE: Dan Froomkin of The Washington Post has a clarification:

Today, Dave Gustafson of the [Charleston] Gazette corrects himself and reports: "President Bush does appear to take a sip of lemonade during his photo-op stop Wednesday with U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., at a Charleston girl's lemonade stand."

The sip is visible at the very end of the video of the event shot by the Associated Press.

"Bush appears to take a quick sip as he reaches for a writing implement. He quickly hands the drink away," Gustafson writes.

(I stand by my original argument. Take a real drink, dammit! For the kids.)

Gustafson adds,

"President Bill Clinton famously said he didn't inhale, but the White House did not respond to a query about whether Bush swallowed."



(By the way, this is Bush's second lemonade-stand photo op* in less than a month and at least the third of his presidency.)


*UPDATE: If that link is dead, try one of these -- and greetings, FDLers.

No comments: