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Reagan v. G.W. Bush

October 18, 2008

Peggy Noonan in a Wall Street Journal column (read the full article to see her backing off her brutally honest–and accurate–criticisms of Palin):

More than ever on the campaign trail, the candidates are dropping their G’s. Hardworkin’ families are strainin’ and tryin’a get ahead. It’s not only Sarah Palin but Mr. McCain, too, occasionally Mr. Obama, and, of course, George W. Bush when he darts out like the bird in a cuckoo clock to tell us we are in crisis. All of the candidates say “mom and dad”: “our moms and dads who are struggling.” This is Mr. Bush’s former communications adviser Karen Hughes’s contribution to our democratic life, that you cannot speak like an adult in politics now, that’s too austere and detached, snobby. No one can say mothers and fathers, it’s all now the faux down-home, patronizing—and infantilizing—moms and dads. Do politicians ever remember that in a nation obsessed with politics, our children—sorry, our kids—look to political figures for a model as to how adults sound? (Emphasis added)

Interesting to see the perspective of a Reagan speechwriter (who, despite often being a blowhard, is FAR from dumb) commenting on the tactics that made George W. successful and hurt the nature of political dialoge in this country (not that it was doing so great…)

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