Thursday, September 02, 2004

Random Thoughts From Tuesday Night's RNC

Yeah, I watched it. I had to kill some time before the season premiere of "Scrubs" aired, and "One Tree Hill" was a re-run. Boy, is that Chad Michael Murray a little wooden boy or what?

I like the disingenious strategy of using powerful, moderate-leaning speakers (Guiliani, McCain, Schwartzenegger) to try to pull the focus away from the radical conservatives who've hijakced the GOP for thirty years and towards its more moderate-leaning rank-and-file, effectively showcasing Dubya as "one of them." The center of the strategy was the Gubernator's keynote speech Tuesday night. Arnold Schwartzenegger's speech was a tour de force that didn't mention the emphasized the immigrant dream of America as the Land of Opportunity, offered a real-life example of that dream to minorities and immigrants, and fried off enough high-wattage celebrity bling bling that it made for a perfect counter to Barack Obama's keynote address in Boston at the Dem's convention last month. Too bad that every time Governor Schwartzenegger paused for applause the cameras (at least those of PBS) panned to some intolerant hayseed with muttonchops in the audience who was probably thinking, "Hey! Why is Conan the Barbarian up there?" Schwartzenegger's truly sincere speech was blunted by the unintentional irony of the crowd to whom he was speaking.

Laura Bush's speech also was intended to soften the President's image in the eyes of viewers and undecided voters across the country. The First Lady effectively cast her husband as a "common man" and "compassionate", with enough real-life examples of people they've met in the past four years to force the image home. I had a hard time taking my focus away from Laura Bush's eyes. It could be her makeup, but they slant upward like a feline. I get the assumption that, much like her mother-in-law, she's the one member in her household you don't want to piss off with cheap shots of her family.

Speaking of which, I couldn't pass this up. Sandwiched between Governor Schwartzenegger and the First Lady were the Bush twins. This was done to cater to the horny frat boys and also to lower the bar for Laura Bush's speech. Personally I don't think that whoever wrote this speech expected the twins to dig such a deep hole for their mother, but that's what happens when you throw two novices out there.

They achieved both of those goals. The following is a transcript of the Bush Twins address with my thoughts in red. Their goal was to introduce the President, who was addressing the convention via satellite from the campaign trail and stared at the camera like a doofus the entire time. Credit for the transcript goes to to e-media and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for the transcript:

JENNA BUSH: It's great to be here. We love Arnold. Isn't he awesome?

I bet he’d be totally down for some Irish Car Bombs at Beauty Bar!!

Thanks to him, if one of us ever decides to marry a Democrat from the Kennedy family who's also filthy rich, nobody can complain, except maybe our grandmother, Barbara. And if she doesn't like it, we can wait till she’s dead would definitely hear about it.

We already know she doesn't like some of our clothes, our music, or most of the TV shows we watch.
Gammie, we love you dearly, but you're just not very hip.

I question the hipness quotient of calling your grandmother “Gammie.”

She thinks "Sex and the City" is something married people do, but never talk about.

What did she just say about “Gammie” not being “hip?”

We spent the last four years trying to stay out of the spotlight. Sometimes (translation: “When we were sober.”), we did a little better job than others.

We kept trying to explain to my dad that when we are young and irresponsible as he was well into his thirties, well, we're young and irresponsible and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

BARBARA BUSH: Jenna and I are really not very bright? political, but we love our dad too much to stand back and watch from the sidelines. Besides, we’re easier on the eyes than Dad and don’t have that clueless look in his eyes. We realized that this would be his last campaign, and we were shoehorned into helping out wanted to be a part of it. Besides, since we've graduated from college, we're looking around for something to do for the next few years. Like get into all the cool clubs in Manhattan without a fake i.d. Kind of like dad.

JENNA: Our parents have always encouraged us to use the family name at every possible convenience be independent and dream big. We've spent a lot of time at Mexican-themed bars drinking $3 margarita pitchers when not at the White House, so when we showed up the first day my mouth tasted like a chimney, we thought we had it all figured out. But apparently my dad already has a chief of staff, named Andy.

BARBARA: When your dad's a Republican and you go to Yale, you learn you’re in with the in crowd to stand up for yourself. I knew I wasn't quite ready to be president, but number two sounded pretty good especially with the poached eggs and English muffin. Who is this man they call Dick Cheney and why is he talking down to my dad if my dad’s the President?

JENNA: I think I know a lot about campaigns because I’ve worn down the will of many a bouncer. After all, my grandfather and my dad have both run for president although my dad didn’t really win, so I put myself in charge of strategy and drinking games. Then I got an angry call from some guy named Karl.

BARBARA: We knew we had something to offer. I mean, we've traveled the world; we've studied abroad. But when we started coming home with foreign policy advise and bruises on our legs, Dad made us call Condi, his other wife.

JENNA: Not to be deterred big ups for using the large word there, we thought surely there's a place for strong willed, opinionated women in communications if not the Republican Party. And next thing we know, Karen's back.

BARBARA: So we decided the best thing we could do here tonight would be to introduce somebody we know and love and not embarrass the family with tacky clothing, bad jokes, and sleepwalking through a speech on national television. Oops!

JENNA: You know all those times when you're growing up and your parents embarrass you? Well, this is payback time on live TV. You ain’t kidding, sweetheart!

BARBARA: Take this. I know it's hard to believe, but our parents' favorite term of endearment for each other is actually Bushy. Wow! Dubya and Laura like the “untamed prairie” look. And we had a hamster, too. Let's just say ours didn't make it. And they’re into kinky sex play. Eeewww!

JENNA: But, contrary to what you might read in the papers, our parents are actually kind of cool. Just ask Gammie. They do know the difference between mono and Bono, since I was sick with mono a lot from all those high school makeout parties. When we tell them we're going to see Outkast, they know it's a band and not a bunch of misfits but we don’t tell them they’re colored people. And if we really beg them, they'll even shake it like a Polaroid picture. I don’t even want to entertain the vision of George Bush shaking it like a Polaroid picture. Although I could see Laura Bush being more of a Big Boi fan than Andre 3000.

BARBARA: So, OK, maybe they have learned a little pop culture from us but not much- we are Texans, after all, but we've learned a lot more from them about what matters in life, about unconditional love, about focus and discipline. And this speech could have sorely used more focus and discipline. They taught us the importance of a good sense of humor, of being open-minded and treating everyone with respect.
And we learned the true value of honesty and integrity. And how it’s all bullshit.

JENNA: When you grow up as the daughters of George and Laura Bush, you develop a special appreciation for how blessed we are ain’t that the truth to live in this great country. We are so proud to be here tonight to introduce someone who read us bedtime stories because they were within his reading level, picked us up in car pool and gave us our first beer, made us our favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because he wasn’t trusted with sharp objects around the house and cheered for us when we scored a goal, even when it was for the wrong team. And this speech could have people lining up to register as Democrats.

BARBARA: Someone who told us we actually looked cute in braces, always welcomed our friends with pony kegs and was there waiting when we came home at curfew to show us the proper way to sneak in the house so we didn’t wake up Mom.

JENNA: Ladies and gentlemen, one of the two most loving, thoughtful people we know. Is Carrie Bradshaw here? OMG, OMG!! This is so unbelievable!!

BARBARA: Your president- the Supreme Court said so; neener neener- and our dad, George W. Bush.

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