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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Topic: The Culture

The problem with strong, educated women with opinions? They ruin everything!

In this blog on Saturday and in the magazine on Sunday I wrote about Teresa Heinz Kerry. The idea was we're really not ready, should John Kerry become president, for an outspoken strong-willed first lady. We have become accustomed to Laura Bush.

In As Seen from Just Above Sunset: Trouble on the Horizon: The United States is Just Not Ready for THIS!

And in Just Above Sunset Magazine: Election Notes: Women! - "Portuguese, born in Mozambique, fluent in French and four other languages! Trouble."

So what would having a well-educated, outspoken and strong-willed first lady be like? Tony Blair can tell us.

A Times of London article says a new book details Cherie Blair's "displays of open animosity towards President Bush," which included picking a fight about the death penalty over dinner.

If you hop over to "A Conservative News Forum" you'll find the article and reactions.

The article:
Cherie [Blair] said Bush 'stole' power and tackled him on executions
London Times, January 24, 2003, London Times
Cherie said Bush 'stole' power and tackled him on executions
By Nicholas Wapshott in New York, Philip Webster and David Charter

TONY BLAIR has been embarrassed by his wife's displays of open animosity towards President Bush, according to a forthcoming biography of the Prime Minister.

Cherie Blair is said to have made no secret of her conviction that Mr Bush "stole" the presidential election, and picked an argument with him over the death penalty during a private dinner.

Although the Prime Minister was pragmatic about Mr Bush's victory, Mrs Blair was far less sanguine about the Supreme Court decision that gave him the keys to the White House. She believed Al Gore had been "robbed" of the presidency and was hostile to the idea of her husband "cosying" up to the new President.

Even as they flew to Washington for their first meeting with the presidential couple, Mrs Blair was in no mood to curry favour, the book Tony Blair: The Making of a World Leader by Philip Stephens, states. "Cherie Blair still believed that Bush had stolen the White House from Gore," he wrote. She asked more than once during the journey why they had to be so nice to "these people".

Mrs Blair scarcely concealed her impatience as the Blair team debated on the plane whether the gift he had brought for the President, a bust of Winston Churchill, was of sufficient quality for the Oval Office. They decided to find a better one and that Mr Blair would tell the President it was on its way. Mrs Blair was annoyed at the fuss but was overruled. Another bust was delivered months later.

The book's disclosures of Mrs Blair's forthright views will cause embarrassment in Downing Street, because of Mr Blair's good working relations with Mr Bush, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although they will not surprise officials or ministers who know her well. She is known for expressing her views forcefully in private.
You get the idea.

But the core is here:
Stephens writes that Mrs Blair behaved impeccably at her first meeting with the President "for all her outspoken resentment on the flight" and "to the great relief of her husband and aides" she had been at pains to make friends with Laura Bush.

But when the Bushes came to Britain in the summer of 2001, Mrs Blair, "more tribal in her politics than Tony", according to a close family friend, embarrassed her husband. As the two couples sat down to dinner, with the officials no longer there, Mrs Blair could not resist an argument. She is a human rights lawyer and turned to the death penalty, a subject on which she has blunt views.

Judicial executions were an immoral violation of human rights, an affront under the US Constitution as much as under European laws to the fundamental principles of justice, she said. This opinion was delivered to a man who as Governor of Texas signed warrants for more than 150 executions.

Mr Blair was reported to have "squirmed", even though he shares her opposition to the death penalty. The author says that when he asked Mr Blair about the incident during research for the book he looked uncomfortable - all he would say was that Cherie had raised the issue but as far as he was concerned the United States and Britain simply had different systems.
Damn. It's embarrassing when your wife is an actual attorney with strong views! She might even express them!

But then it gets worse for Bush too.
Stephens also states that later in the evening Mr Bush had been embarrassed by his wife. Laura Bush had made it clear that her views on abortion were a great deal more liberal than his.
Really? No one ever knew that. Laura knows usually enough to keep her damned mouth shut. A good woman.

By the way, Stephens is a political columnist on the Financial Times and the paper's former political editor. This biograrphy of Blair was commissioned by the publishers Viking to meet an urgent demand from Americans for more information about the Prime Minister and his family. The book will be published in here on February 5 and is expected to sell reasonably well.

And the comments you will find at "A Conservative News Forum"?

"Cherie is nothing but an embarrassment, to her husband and the rest of the country. The criminal-consorting, hypocritical, spurious 'human rights' lawyering, crystal gazing bit? I wouldn't worry about anything this dumb cow has to say.
posted on 01/24/2004 1:00:06 AM PST by ScudEast

"Laura should have bitch-slapped her !!"
posted on 01/24/2004 1:12:07 AM PST by Rainmist

"Cherie Blair is L? all the way. Looney left liberal. A chowderhead. Britain is full of these cranks. I will however give her credit for being woman enough to bear 4 children."
posted on 01/24/2004 1:24:07 AM PST by dennisw ("We'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way." - Toby Keith)

John and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, better watch their backs.

Posted by Alan at 10:47 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 27 January 2004 10:59 PST home

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