Tuesday, February 26, 2002

In it, she repeats the legend of how then-President George H.W. Bush was so out of touch that he marvelled at a common supermarket barcode scanner. What she doesn't say is that that story is a tall tale.

One year at college, I think it was in 1994-5, when the "Contract with America" midterm elections were happning, I was really good about attending the weekly lecture series. One week, James Carville was the speaker, and he mentioned how this story was never true. Bush was at a grocer's convention, and someone showed him a device that could weigh groceries and repair broken labels. Bush reacted like most of us would -- "hey that's pretty neat," and that was recorded in the Houston Chronicle. A New York Times reporter saaw this as his opportunity to portray Bush as out of touch and created the legend that President Bush was amazed at an ordinary grocery store scanner. You can read more about this here. I find it hard to believe that Quindlen is unaware of the falseness of this story, so here repeating of it here in an effort to draw parallels with George W. Bush is irresponsible.

Quindlen also makes a clumsy effort to associate Enron with Republicans. See, Enron was a big business, and Republicans are the party of big business, so it's their fault. I'm not buying.
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