Props to Mike Lewis, who brought this up in the comments section of my "Getting Political" post. Lest we think that Worst President Ever is the only member of the family who is out of touch, we always have Momma Babs and her creative interpretation of The World According to Bush.
From the electronic pages of Editor and Publisher:
Accompanying her husband, former President George H. W. Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in Houston, Barbara Bush said today, referring to the poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated, "This is working very well for them."
Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't warn you that was coming. Now you've gone and spat coffee all over your monitor.
Of course, as with any statement, it's always best to put everything into context. After all, perhaps the former first lady was misquoted. That can happen, right?
She was part of a group in Houston today at the Astrodome that included her husband and former President Bill Clinton, who were chosen by her son, the current president, to head fundraising efforts for the recovery. Sen. Hilary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama were also present.
In a segment at the top of the show on the surge of evacuees to the Texas city, Barbara Bush said: "Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we're going to move to Houston."
Then she added: "What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."
See, that clarifies things. Ol' Babs was just making a comment about the hospitality of her fellow Texans. Why, these Texans are good folk. When the poor disaster victims arrive in town, they're given a plate of brisket and a can of Lone Star. They're greeted by people in funny hats singing about yellow roses. Barbara was having a Miss Ellie Moment, in which she simply wished to boast of her fellow Texans with pride. She didn't really mean that the disaster was actually "working very well" for the victims. That would be silly.
Hang on. There's just one paragraph left in that Editor and Publisher article:
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -- this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."
I stand corrected.
So, in the eyes of the former first lady of the United States (and a dead ringer for the first-ever president of the United States), this flood thing is working out very well for these underprivileged folks. This flood, which wiped out their little homes, killed off a few of their relatives and their pets, and left them without food and water for several days? In the end, having a cot on the cold concrete floor of an abandoned sports venue is really a much better tradeoff.
I'm a sports fan, and I've been one all my life. Oh, how I wish I could have lost everything I own in the flood. If I were truly lucky, I could have taken the field at two sports facilities -- the New Orleans Superdome and the Houston Astrodome. Can you imagine how great that would be? Never mind the cots and the crying babies and the overflowing toilets and the stench and the hopelessness. Look at me! I'm on the 35-yard line! Somebody take my picture!
Jealous? Damn straight you are.