You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.
4 August 2004

Cookies and bikes and guns

I post over at Command Post every
little while.  For those of you who don’t know what the site is,
it’s a place where contributors can put up news items of interests in
the vital questions of the day.

So I posted the bike story from below earlier today over there, and the responses were quite varied.  You should know that the people over at CP take their politics very seriously
One guy wondered why Kerry can spring $8000 for a good bike, but claims
to hunt with a very poor double-barrel shotgun.  He suspects
pandering, and I’m inclined to agree (if the fellow’s info is right,
and I have no reason to doubt) that it’s at the very least not a very
good representation.

Another person had the following to say

Family Circle Magazine runs a COOKIE COOKOFF CONTEST
each Presidential election year by posting a favorite cookie recipe for
each wife of the candidates. This year Laura put up a Oatmeal Chocolate
Chunk Cookie and Theresa put up a Pumpkin Spice Cookie. Visitors to the
website are encouraged to make the cookies and then vote for their
favorite. The contest started in June and in November the winner will
be announced. Last month the word came out that the Pumpkin Spice
Cookies were terrible. And when asked about it, Theresa said it wasn’t
really “her” recipe, someone on her staff picked it for her and she
doesn’t like Pumpkin Spice.

So if Theresa doesn’t like pumpkin in the first place, why would
someone pick out a pumpkin cookie for a nation-wide contest? Hummmmm…

Second, if you saw the film footage of Kerry at that Wendy’s the
other day, the one where he approached the Marines, you might have seen Theresa pointing up to a menu of food items on the wall by the order desk. Theresa pointed to the Wendy’s Chili and asked the clerk what it was?

Yep, those two truly represent the middle class in this country.

My response is this: 

If we can’t laugh at the foibles of both major candidates (to say
nothing of the third party guys), then we’re pretty poorly off. They’re
hilarious as they trip over themselves to show us how ____ (fill in the blank) they are.

Especially since both of these guys and their families are
plutocrats. Neither of them is “in touch” with the middle class,
because they’ve never been middle class in either of their lives. At
their worst, they might have been upper middle class. Both of
‘em are worth hundreds of millions. John Kerry can’t fake being
middle class to save his life, and George Bush’s affect of “middle
class” is only that — an affect and a pretty poor one at that.  My
God, they’re both Skull and Bones at Yale.  It’s hard to be more a
member of the overclass elite than that.

And I really doubt that Laura Bush spends much time baking her own
cookies or that the recipe was really hers at all. (Besides, didn’t we
do this cookie thing last time with Bush v. Clinton?) I’ve spent too
much time in politics to believe that for more than about two seconds.
And Teresa may not know what chili is — but I bet her Portuguese
food is great. So what?

The question for both Laura and Teresa isn’t about food, what they
like or don’t, what they know or don’t. It’s about whether their
husbands can govern effectively.

Posted in Politicks on 4 August 2004 at 9:19 pm by Nate

Presidential bicycles

Apparently, the sort of bike you ride may have something to do with the electoral politics you practice:

ONE of the many differences separating John Kerry and George W. Bush
is their choice of bicycle – not an especially presidential mode of
transport, one might think, except that these are not ordinary bikes.

 Mr. Kerry reportedly pedals an $8,000 Serotta Ottrott, as
high-tech and skittish as a sports car. It is made of space-age carbon
tubing and comes equipped with the patented ST rear triangle, whatever
that is.

Mr. Bush pumps away (often emitting low “hrrr, hrrr, hrrr” grunts,
according to an Associated Press article last week) on a $3,000 Trek
Fuel 98. It, too, is made of carbon tubing, but unlike the Kerry
machine, it has shock absorbers fore and aft. That’s because it’s meant
to go off-road. If Mr. Kerry’s bike is a Ferrari, Mr. Bush’s is a Land
Rover. Mr. Kerry rides on the flat, more or less, and usually on paved

Mr. Bush likes to ride up into the hills of his Texas ranch and then
come flying down. To put it another way, Mr. Kerry is more nearly like
Greg LeMond, Mr. Bush more like Evel Knievel.

The original article even contains pictures of each candidate on their really expensive bikes.

UPDATE: 8 August 2004, 12.08 PM — The Times ran a couple of follow-up letters to the story yesterday.  Read ’em here
The real cyclists have some corrections to make to the Times, like
whether or not road racing is as exciting as mountain biking (yes), or
whether GWB is wearing appropriate clothing to really be cycling, or
whether what he’s doing is mountain biking.

And, for full disclosure, here’s what I ride.

Posted in Politicks on 4 August 2004 at 12:19 pm by Nate