Girl trouble

Girl trouble… I was wondering out loud this morning whether or to what extent the widely-panned performance of Jenna and Barbara Bush at the GOP convention last night would hurt their father’s chances. Our managing editor Christina Larson sent me this reply:

Presumably, the reason we’re being treated to more of the twins Bush (as well as to frequent campaign appearances by Vanessa and Alexandra Kerry) is because someone hopes that younger voices on the stump might appeal to the elusive youth vote. Go figure, then, that both pairs of daughters got booed recently on MTV.

The Washington Monthly offices ? where half the staff consists of young writers and half of wiser (older) editors and business staff with adolescent or young-adult children ? is a perfect workshop to (unscientifically) test a theory of mine: Young people don’t read much into the character of political children, but parents do. Beyond arguing about the “hotness” quotient of the four daughters, the under-30 crowd in the office didn’t have much to say about the Bush daughters’ stand-up routine last night. The parents in the office, however, gave us an earful ? comparing the attitude and conduct of the presidential daughters with that of their own children. If you watched the convention last night, I’ll leave you to speculate on their conclusions.

I remember, many years ago, my mother arguing with me to brush my hair and “sit like a lady” before we went to church ? otherwise the other parents might think less of her. I wonder how many parents have thought slightly differently of both candidates when they’ve met their children.

Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.