I’m guessing there’s a little-known codicil attached to the First Amendment that says you’re only allowed to make a certain number of painfully trite and pandering campaign ads in a month, so Rick Perry had to get his wife to do one, because he had exceeded his quota.
That would help explain the painful-to-watch phenomenon above.
Set aside the script, which makes me think that the Perry campaign paid the writers extra not to put in anything touching on originality or genuinely revelatory of character: No, this sounds too much like a real person — go back and watch another hour’s worth of ads from the 19950s and try again!
The appearance of a political wife in this one reminds me of the question Kathleen Parker raised yesterday: “Callista Gingrich: A Laura or a Hillary?” My first reaction, when I saw that headline on Twitter, was to think “Neither; she’s a Stepford.” But that one’s been done to death, so I didn’t Tweet it.
My next thought was this: I’m always a bit suspicious of political wives when they step to the fore. Like, why are they doing this? Is it their own ambition (I guess Hillary is supposed to stand for that) or are we to think they’re just so doggoned loyal and supportive that they’ll put up with all this, and with a fixed smile (I’m guessing that’s Laura)?
I mean, the candidates themselves are, by definition, not psychologically normal. No regular guy puts himself through that. He either desires power, or other people’s approval, or self-flagellation, or regular sex (the Alpha Male phenomenon), way more than your average Joe does, or he’s got a screw loose, or he is just ordained by Almighty God to be the nation’s leader (which would be my excuse, were I to run).
But hey, at the end of it all, he gets to be president and call the shots (which LOTS of guys would go for, if they didn’t have to go through a campaign to get there). But to run for First Lady? Where’s the reward? You have to show up for all the ribbon-cuttings, but get no real power. So I wonder. About all of them. (As for the husbands of female candidates — there are too few, and they stay too far in the background, for me to have formed many impressions, much less to have leaped to any generalizations.)
Whenever I’ve mentioned — just for the sake of argument, baby, just for laughs, you know, heh-heh — the remote possibility of thinking about considering running for office, I don’t get the sense from my wife that she’d be up for ANY sort of involvement in such madness. Because she’s a normal, sane person, and doesn’t need anything that such an experience has to offer. Which makes me wonder about the women who DO actively get involved in such goings-on.
It puzzles me.