The annual White House Correspondent’s Association dinner is usually a time when the President lets his hair down and tries some jokes on for his size for the award-winning journalists being honored. As recently as a few years ago, President Bush stirred up some controversy by making light of the war on terrorism.
However, this year it was First Lady Laura Bush’s turn to rock it hilarious in a bit of stage play and canned tomfoolery usually only witnessed at every entertainment awards show broadcast in the history of time.
As President Bush began to deliver his typical remarks, Laura Bush “shocked” those in attendance by interrupting the proceedings.
According to the Associated Press:
“Not that old joke, not again,” she said to the delight of the audience. “I’ve been attending these dinners for years and just quietly sitting there. I’ve got a few things I want to say for a change.”
The president sat down and she proceeded to note that he is “usually in bed by now” and said she told him recently, “If you really want to end tyranny in the world you’re going to have to stay up later.”
The cavalcade of jokes continued in the general vein of The President is a No Fun Loving Geek Who Goes to Bed Really Really Early. And then, finally, we are led up to the headline producing punch line:
She outlined a typical evening: “Nine o’clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep and I’m watching `Desperate Housewives’.” Comedic pause. “With Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife.”
Clearly, we can now see where the Bush daughters, who joked it up at the Republican National Convention last summer, get their sense of humor from.
But is this light-hearted moment a throwaway line in a time of war and general unease, or is it an underhanded statement of what this administration sees as the ideal social condition:
Man and woman happily married (or not). Man goes to sleep early as he has a “country” to run in the morning. Wife settles into the nightly soaps, joking about the desperate normalcy of it all.
Is this a veiled desire to transport back to the idealized Ozzie and Harriet days of the 1950s?
Is this a new call for censorship, a plea for a further straitjacketing of the American Creative Spirit?
Or have I just lost my sense of humor?
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