Well, you know, I don't know Laura Bush. But she seems to be calm, and she has a sparkle in her eye, which is good. But I don't know that she's ever had a real job - I mean, since she's been grown up. So her experience and her validation comes from important things, but different things.
This woman truly has a warped view of the world. Let’s set aside the fact that Laura Bush was a teacher and a librarian for 10 years. (Teresa Kerry later apologizes for forgetting this—see below.) What is frightening are the underlying values revealed by such a comment. On what criteria does Teresa Kerry determine a person’s worth? Does she look to their character? Their values? Their wisdom? No. She is more concerned about whether they have had a “real job,” whatever that means.
I'm older, and my validation of what I do is a little bit bigger - because I'm older, and I've had different experiences. And it's not a criticism of her. It's just, you know, what life is about.
Oh, I get it. Teresa Kerry isn’t actually criticizing Laura Bush (good thing she pointed that out, because that’s precisely what I thought she was doing) it’s just that Kerry’s experiences are a little “bigger,” a little more “valid.”
How superior can you get? Poor little Laura, so unfortunate not to have done anything truly meaningful in her life. If only she could have had a “real job” so she could be as worldly and wonderful as me. Life just isn’t fair, you know. Pity, that.
I doubt Teresa Kerry will be called on this condescension, particularly now that she’s issued an “apology:”
I had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a school teacher and librarian, and there couldn't be a more important job than teaching our children. As someone who has been both a full-time mom and full-time in work force, I know we all have valuable experiences that shape who we are. I appreciate and honor Mrs. Bush's service to the country as first lady and am sincerely sorry I had not remembered her important work in the past.The apology is as telling as the original remarks. Notice the complete reversal of tone now that Laura Bush is remembered as having actually worked. Suddenly Mrs. Bush is “validated.” Suddenly she is valuable, honorable, and important. Suddenly she is worthy. It really says a lot about Teresa Heinz Kerry and how she classifies people to see how much value she puts on work experience rather than character.
Laura Bush is one of the brightest, most charming, and classiest women ever to hold the office. Along with wisdom and natural charm, she has brought dignity to the White House. She is a natural treasure. Teresa Kerry, for all her self-validation, has only made herself look small by comparison.
Update: Jim Lileks has more, as does Power Line, and Captain Ed.
Update 2: Still more from Barbara Comstock. Do John Kerry’s kids really refer to Teresa as “Step Money?” Man, that’s harsh.