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« Uncertainty, Global Warming, and public policy | Main | Well, He Can Write Off Michigan »

The Wendy's Episode

I wanted to write something about it, but given how busy I am, I figured it would be better to just wait for Mark Steyn to weigh in.

It was worth the wait.

In 1992, pictures of a baffled George Bush père marvelling as a supermarket clerk demonstrated a barcode scanner were seized on by the media as evidence of how out of touch he was. But barcode scanners were introduced to supermarkets during his 12 years at the White House, and a sitting president or vice-president doesn't get many opportunities to go grocery shopping. The difference between Bush Snr and Kerry is that Prince John of Gaunt seems far more isolated from the rhythms of American life and he hasn't even got to the White House yet.

The tonal disconnect is only going to get worse between now and November. At the convention last week, Ted Kennedy urged Americans to make sure that, this January, John Kerry has a "nice new home". But, thanks to his wife's first husband, he already has five multi-million-dollar homes, including a 15th-century stone barn dismantled and shipped over from England to serve as their ski chalet in Idaho.

By contrast, George W Bush has one modest ranch in Crawford, a town no one would choose to live in unless it genuinely was his home. As Noemi Emery put it in the Weekly Standard, Kerry is not just "the richest man ever to run on a national ticket", but also "the most self-indulgent in his lifestyle, and the most quasi-royal in his sense of himself".

Again, you know what to do.

Posted by Rand Simberg at August 02, 2004 09:08 PM
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Of course the Bush grocerygate thing didn't quite happen as reported.

Posted by Ken Talton at August 2, 2004 11:19 PM

Normally, I dislike Mark Steyn, but this story hits some of the problems I have with Kerry and some of his supporters. Here's yet another politician who's done little else for decades and has been groomed for virtually his entire life to hold higher office. I have similar beefs with Bush, but at least Bush spent a considerable portion of his life doing something other than politics.

Out of touch is only a symptom. For people like this, I have to ask. Will he put the needs of the country before the wishes of the parties that made him what he is?

Posted by Karl Hallowell at August 3, 2004 02:46 AM

I always recall being told that when Eisenhower left office, he couldn't place a phone call - after he reached general rank, in the thirties, he'd always had someone to place phone calls for him, and in the interim they instituted dialing tones. Ah, progress.

Posted by Andrew Gray at August 3, 2004 06:19 AM

Nitpick, Re Eisenhower and promotion to General. Ike was promoted to brigadier general in August 1941.

Technology works the other way sometimes. One of my children had to have the concept of 'rotary dial' phones explained to her.

Posted by Brian at August 3, 2004 08:52 AM

Speaking of out of touch, if Ms. Kerry is the First Lady, I can see her turning to the ambassador of Senegal or Thailand at a State reception and saying get me a drink because she thinks they are part of the staff.

Posted by Bill Maron at August 3, 2004 11:05 AM

Won't that be a sign of her "common touch," since she treats everyone in common?

Posted by Dean at August 3, 2004 11:17 AM

Hey, at least she'd ask in French!

Posted by Al at August 3, 2004 12:55 PM

Did anybody notice in one of the source stories about this incident, that his wife pointed to a picture of a bowl of chili, and asked what it was?

Now, I don't frequent Wendy's much, so it's possible that their menu graphics were drawn by a toddler (I've seen indecipherable menu pictures before), but if it *looks* like a bowl of chili, and she just doesn't know what chili is... somebody needs to introduce her to it on her next stop in the southwest.

Or maybe she'd just prefer duck liver and fish eggs ordered from a waiter with a French accent.

Posted by Big D at August 3, 2004 02:04 PM

> has been groomed for virtually his entire life to hold higher office.

Either the grooming didn't take or the groom didn't know what he was doing.

Posted by Andy Freeman at August 3, 2004 09:35 PM

I ate at Wendy's last night (biggie-sized double combo), and didn't have a $200 shrimp dinner waiting for me in the pickup truck.

You gotta wonder how much of Kerry's campaign donations are going toward food.

Posted by Alan K. Henderson at August 4, 2004 12:22 AM

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