Laura Bush: First lady of comedy?

vonjobi writes "Laura Bush on finding romance in spite of being a librarian:

The amazing thing, however, is that George and I were just meant to be. I was the librarian who spent 12 hours a day in the library, yet somehow I met George.

The complete transcript is available on USA Today. But you should also check out the story."

Also see Norma's journal entry on this story.


Hmm, I read it not as though librarians are unlikely to find romance, but that the more time you spend in a library the less likely you are to meet George W. Bush.

i am sorry to have missed that. however, wasn't she a school librarian? perhaps president bush was using a grade school library to get thru college... sure would explain a lot!

Those who fall for the Bush act are just absorbing the mass media or fox message. Go beyond pop culture.

Steve Leser nails it:
Comedy has been the Jedi mind trick with which the first family has avoided appropriately addressing issues. Bush or his wife crack a joke regarding something, and the public dutifully moves on to another issue....We'll laugh, but we are not going to give you a pass and forget the problems you have caused that you now need to fix. That ship has sailed. If you don't want to be remembered as the two worst mistakes the American electorate has ever made, and more importantly, if you want to leave this country in at least marginally as good shape as you found it, drop the act, you need to roll up your sleeves and do your job.

I think those things- the vigils and working to end the war are admirable and beneficial (although I don't necessarily agree) I do think they are more effective than anything the ALA can do.

Is an ALA Council resolution about something non-library related (and truthfully the tangential association of libraries in the resolution is simply not convincing enough, it is about ending the war and just that.) really what the ALA was created for, is it something the ALA has metamorphosed into, is it germane to the ALA's purpose?

Or, is it just the political sentiment of most of the members of the ALA. Of course the members can - and should - be politically active, but is it not more appropriate to leave the ALA out of it. Perhaps create a group, Librarians for Fossil Fuel Freedom or something similar thus not obfuscating the purpose of the group. It is clear what LFFF would stand for; having the ALA take up the cause of war or Iraq is contrary to even the most generous interpretation of what American Library Association could possibly mean. The NRA is about guns, NOW is about women, AARP is about retired persons, and ALA is about Iraq?

I would also feel the same way if the ALA were composed of only republican white men, they shouldn't be putting resolutions on the table that are not related to American libraries.

"the pale shadow of it coming from a Democrat would have brought forth cries of outrage at how those nasty, horrid Democrats were "lowering the tone", "outraging decent people", and generally bringing about the fall of civilization."Well said! It's funny how when confronted with this quite reasonable hypothesis, people here and elsewhere drag out tasteless leftwingers. The effect is one of an "everybody does it" defense. "Everybody does it" isn't normally accepted as a defense by O'Reilly, et al fans unless the offender shares their views.Still, Laura's humor seems to be as funny as much else that passes for humor these days.

Yes. And I have read the names of the dead, stood vigil in front of military bases and continue to work that this war is over. I'm the daughter and the spouse of combat veterans and I don't think we should be going to dinner, drinking wine or acting as lap dogs to those who kill in our name.

Draft Resolution/Petition on the
Connection between the Iraq War and Libraries

The following link is to a draft resolution which will be placed before ALA Council at the 2005 annual conference of ALA. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the American Library Association.

Give me a break. Have you stopped going out for dinner, drinking wine or smiling? Are you wearing black? A president that didn't show up at this event would be massacred by the MSM! Let's celebrate all the women the 2 wars have liberated, if you insist on changing the topic to the war.

You know I wasn't a particular fan of the Clinton administration because I held viewpoints very different from his, but I didn't insult the man or his family or belittle him.

If you didn't, you were a rarity on the right--or have you forgotten the "Bubba" jokes, the "Hitlery" jokes, and all the other personally insulting and demeaning "jokes" made about the Clintons from the time Bill became a serious candidate until, well, until now, with no signs of stopping?

Laura turned in a performance that was more crude than risque, and even the pale shadow of it coming from a Democrat would have brought forth cries of outrage at how those nasty, horrid Democrats were "lowering the tone", "outraging decent people", and generally bringing about the fall of civilization.

And you know this, so why do you expect other people not to comment on it?

I for one will remain sour so long as young men and women are dying for this president and his funny first lady. Nearly 1600 U.S. troops and over 100,000

Thanks Daniel.

These comments are from Al Franken's speech back at the 1996 WHC Dinner.

Our resident malcontents (not you Daniel) might be well-advised to revisit speeches made at this dinner in years past, before the obligatory sour puss roll out.

That said, I suppose self-deprecation, in this case by proxy, is a nuance of humor lost by some.

Hey Tomeboy, Welcome back!I'm afraid I don't follow your post though. Are the bullet points from Messrs Al Franken and Bill Maher? Whoever said them wasn't terribly funny.No matter who said them, I don't see how it disproves the idea that if anyone besides Mrs. Bush had tossed off these one liners, the speaker would have been denounced as a "Bush Hater (tm)."Heck, If Hilary Clinton had used such language in reference to Bill, her words would have been used as confirmation of her coarse character by the Fox News crowd. Yet, Mrs. Bush is cheered for her wicked and bawdy roast of the President.I didn't like the horse joke (blush), but I'd have to say that the First Lady deserves her new title as Comedianne-in-Chief!

Afterward, both Al Franken and Bill Maher were complaining that they could not have gotten away with that horse joke.

  • So now I like Bob Dornan. Even though he is a crazy homophobe, the guy can take a joke.
  • Anyway, my Newsweek assignment was to get an interview with Buchanan. Which I didn't get. But I came up with some questions, and I don't want to waste them so:
    • You've said that a million immigrant Englishmen would assimilate to life in Ameirca better than a million Zulus. Who would do better: A million Zulus or a million Pygmies?
    • You have said that Holocaust survivors had "group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics." Is the same true of your followers?
    • Have you ever had a homoerotic dream?
  • You know, the whole Colin Powell phenomenon has led me to one indisputable conclusion: The first Jew to be elected President of the United States will have to be a four star general.
  • By the way, also here tonight is Charles Murray, who I understand has been hard at work on a sequel to The Bell Curve entitled Jazz, the Music Created by Morons.
  • What you're saying is that the Bush haters wrote bad things about him and took Laura Bush's speech out of context.

    Wow, who would have thought they would stoop to that.

    You know I wasn't a particular fan of the Clinton administration because I held viewpoints very different from his, but I didn't insult the man or his family or belittle him. Then again he did that well enough on his own with his actions.

    "David Corn, a columnist for the Nation" has no sense of humor and goes way beyond the meaning of the jokes, but that's to be expected, I suppose, from The Nation's stable of writers. The hatred of the administration in the liberal media is "so cynical and complacent" not to mention so hypocritical. Bush upstages them and trips them in their own game every chance he gets and it just rots their mean little psyches even more. They gripe about and ridicule the President, but when his wife beats them to the punch (in a written sketch) with an outlandish scenario and hyperbole, they gripe and complain even more because they didn't do it. Can't win with those guys.

    Take your complaint to Laura; she's the one who made the joke. In any case, no one in his entourage has ever portrayed George W. as someone who thought of the library as a fun place to hang out when he wasn't studying.

    was David Letterman's take-off (on last night's Late Show) on how the crowd received the quips of the First Lady. After a description of how well her humor was received by the press, Letterman put together clips of Mrs. Bush saying stuff like "My husband is genuinely concerned about the welfare of the American people" with follow-ups of the audience laughing racously and slapping their thighs. Now that's funny.

    BuzzFlash News Analysis
    David Corn, a columnist for the Nation, captured the surreal atmosphere at the correspondents dinner,

    Laura's well-written script included several shots of risqué material.
    It was a good performance but weird, for Laura had jabbed at her husband for not reading books, had suggested he was no powerhouse in bed, and had encouraged everyone in the room--and all those children at home glued to C-SPAN--to envision George W. Bush pulling on the penis of a horse. (I wondered how social conservative leader James Dobson, who was scheduled to be at the dinner, reacted.) It was not hard to figure out why the White House decided to have Laura upstage George. Her approval rating is almost twice his, and his number--in the mid-40s--are at a record low. But an HBO routine? Afterward, both Al Franken and Bill Maher were complaining that they could not have gotten away with that horse joke.

    Don't you think the press might have been sensitive to the hypocrisy of a president who teaches "absolute" moral values and denounces the allegedly low moral standards of television having his wife employ the same kind of humor? No, not this crowd of D.C. mainstream press insiders. They are so cynical and complacent with their fat paychecks that they just consider the whole presidency a performance. There aren't REALLY issues. There are just appearances to be "reviewed" and power plays to be reported on. Most of the people in that room, are, in essence (whatever their titles), political entertainment reporters working for largely entertainment companies, where their news divisions are just another form of entertainment.

    I thought people with undergraduate degrees from Yale and MBAs from Harvard would spend a lot of time in libraries.

    If we--librarians--become complicit in accepting Mrs. Bush as funny and cute rather than dangerous we fall into the trap journalists have done. See this discussion by Frank Rich in the New York Times, May 8. We just can't be a stupid as the journalists.

    *Laura Bush's Mission Accomplished*
    The New York Times
    May 8, 2005 ....Yes, Mrs. Bush was funny, but the mere sight of her "interrupting" her husband in an obviously scripted routine prompted a ballroom full of
    reporters to leap to their feet and erupt in a roar of sycophancy like partisan hacks at a political convention....

    Watching the Washington press not only swoon en masse for Mrs. Bush's show but also sponsor and promote
    it inevitably recalls its unwitting collaboration in other, far more
    consequential Bush pageants. From the White House's faux "town hall
    meetings" to the hiring of Armstrong Williams to shill for its policies in
    journalistic forums, this administration has been a master of erecting
    propagandistic virtual realities that the news media have often been
    either tardy or ineffectual at unmasking.

    It was only too fitting that Mrs. Bush's performance occurred on the eve
    of the second anniversary of the most elaborate production of them all:
    the "Top Gun" landing by the president on the aircraft carrier Abraham
    Lincoln. The Washington reviews of her husband at the time were
    reminiscent of hers last weekend. "This president has learned how to move
    in a way that just conveys a great sense of authority and command," David
    Broder raved on "Meet the Press." Robert Novak chimed in: "He looks good
    in a jumpsuit." It would be quite a while before these guys stopped
    cheering the Jerry Bruckheimer theatrics and started noticing the
    essential fiction of the scene: the mission in Iraq hadn't been
    accomplished, and major combat operations were far from over.

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