Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jenna Bush might not support McCain. ...AND?

It was brutally obvious the moment it happened.

Last night on Larry King Live, the host of the long-running talk show had just finished a wild first half with James Carville, Bill Richardson and other assorted surrogates of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He was limping through a painfully boring interview with First Lady Laura Bush and Jenna Bush when he asked Laura Bush whether she is keeping up with the presidential campaign.

KING: Do you have a favorite between the two, the two Democrats?

LAURA BUSH: My favorite is the Republican.

KING (pointing to Jenna): Yours too, I would imagine.

JENNA BUSH: I don't know.
King nearly came out of his chair, pointing his pointy pointer finger at the First Twin and saying, "A-ha! Are you open to ..."

"Yeah, of course," she said breezily. "I mean, who isn't open to learning about the candidates and I'm sure that everybody's like that."

I looked up from the dishes. In an instant, the interview had transformed from a flowery meadow filled with innocuous niceties to a fiery pit with flames lapping at her feet. Likely sensing that she was balancing on the precipice of disaster, and as King struggled to keep from hyperventilating, Jenna didn't give him a chance to give voice to the unspeakable thought. She quickly moved to minimize the whole line of discussion -- even though it had lasted fewer than 15 seconds -- and refocus King on the TOTALLY AWESOME BOOK TOUR she was there to publicize and the SO-FUN WEDDING coming up.

"But I really -- I honestly have been too busy with books to really pay that much attention," Jenna blurted out.

And that was the end of that.

So of course the blogosphere is abuzz with "BUSH'S DAUGHTER MIGHT NOT SUPPORT MCCAIN!!" hysteria. WHO CARES?? Actually, I think that McCain's campaign is missing a good opportunity here. If I was managing him, I'd have him out in front of the cameras saying something like this:

"Well, no, to tell you the truth, I wasn't surprised by Jenna's comments. After all, we hope -- we expect -- that Americans will carefully consider their choice for president, because it's such an important, personal decision for each individual. Jenna Bush has that same right and responsibility, and that doesn't change just because her dad is the president.

"But I will make the same case to Jenna Bush that I will make to the rest of the country: that we need a leader who is tested and ready to be president on day one. I have confidence that Jenna Bush, as I do in the American people as a whole, as she examines the issues and watches this campaign develop, will agree. I look forward to earning her vote, and I wish her all the best."
What do you think?

On a side note, Jenna Bush also mentioned that she and Chelsea Clinton "are going to get together for coffee one day." That was another interesting point, but King seemed to morph into a sorority hostess as he talked about it:

KING: Do you feel a kinship with Chelsea?

J. BUSH: Yes, of course. I mean --

KING: It's a tough life.

J. BUSH: It's tough and it's amazing. I mean, the opportunities that we both had -- Chelsea's had too on the campaign trail with her mom. I mean, I saw her last night on TV, and I thought, that's a lot of fun that they get to do that together. And also, the opportunities to travel and see the world with her mother and her father. I mean, those are amazing opportunities. I do -- we're going to get together for coffee one day.

KING: You want to do that.

J. BUSH: Yes.

KING: You ought to call her.

J. BUSH: I will. She's probably a little busy right now. We'll wait.

KING: The two of you would really get along.

J. BUSH: Oh, absolutely.
Hey, Larry: I bet you can totally get the girls together at the next Delta Nu-Delta Tau Chi mixer.