Like so much about the Bush presidency, the wedding of daughter Jenna brings out a strange strain of media bias and bitterness. Take as an example this Associated Press report, which recounts the history of First Family weddings over the course of the last 200+ years, from John Adams’ adninistration to present day. According to Leanne Italie, George Bush would have had a hard time explaining a White House wedding:
Bush’s wedding in tiny Crawford, Texas, on the other hand, is expected to be low-key — out of the view of prying media eyes.
“This is going to be such a different kind of situation,” said Katherine Jellison, an associate professor of history at Ohio University who chronicles the American obsession with marital pomp in her recent book, It’s Our Day.
“Jenna’s father is not running for re-election,” she said. “The frivolity of a big White House wedding in the middle of an unpopular war would have used up what little political capital he has.”
Gee, did it do that for Lyndon Johnson? In 1966, the Vietnam War hadn’t hit the peak of its unpopularity, but political pressure in opposition had certainly hit the mainstream. That didn’t stop Luci Baines Johnson from having her wedding at the White House in an elaborate ceremony, complete with television coverage.
The idea that it takes “political capital” to stage a wedding for a child of the President is patently absurd. Who besides the most extreme lunatics would demand an end to someone’s wedding because their parent didn’t have political capital? Better yet, what credibility would Bush lose on policy after hosting a wedding reception for his daughter at the White House?
Jenna Bush more than likely decided that she didn’t want a big, splashy public wedding, especially after the treatment she and her sister have received from the media over the past few years. Why give reporters like Leanne Italie more grist for their mill? They opted for a quieter setting in Crawford for reasons that become clear after the silliness of this article.
Italie also manages to get in a dig at the Nixons, too:
Tricia Nixon was risque in a sleeveless gown at her Rose Garden wedding.
Risque? Hardly, as the Anchoress points out:
In 1971, this might have been fashion forward, very lovely and “different” (neither hippy-granny dress, nor blowsy meringue) but it was hardly “risque,” especially for a wedding held in a garden instead of a church.
This is what Italie considers “risque”:
If this is what Italie calls “risque”, just imagine how she would have reported the Jenna Bush nuptials.