July 22, 2005


An Image A Little Too Carefully Coordinated (Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 7/22/05)

It has been a long time since so much syrupy nostalgia has been in evidence at the White House. But Tuesday night, when President Bush announced his choice for the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, it was hard not to marvel at the 1950s-style tableau vivant that was John Roberts and his family.

There they were -- John, Jane, Josie and Jack -- standing with the president and before the entire country. The nominee was in a sober suit with the expected white shirt and red tie. His wife and children stood before the cameras, groomed and glossy in pastel hues -- like a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, three little Necco wafers. There was tow-headed Jack -- having freed himself from the controlling grip of his mother -- enjoying a moment in the spotlight dressed in a seersucker suit with short pants and saddle shoes. His sister, Josie, was half-hidden behind her mother's skirt. Her blond pageboy glistened. And she was wearing a yellow dress with a crisp white collar, lace-trimmed anklets and black patent-leather Mary Janes. . . .

The wife wore a strawberry-pink tweed suit with taupe pumps and pearls, which alone would not have been particularly remarkable, but alongside the nostalgic costuming of the children, the overall effect was of self-consciously crafted perfection. The children, of course, are innocents. They are dressed by their parents. And through their clothes choices, the parents have created the kind of honeyed faultlessness that jams mailboxes every December when personalized Christmas cards arrive bringing greetings "to you and yours" from the Blake family or the Joneses. Everyone looks freshly scrubbed and adorable, just like they have stepped from a Currier & Ives landscape. . . .

[T]he Roberts family went too far. In announcing John Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee, the president inextricably linked the individual -- and his family -- to the sweep of tradition. In their attire, there was nothing too informal; there was nothing immodest. There was only the feeling that, in the desire to be appropriate and respectful of history, the children had been costumed in it.

The tide of human history sweeps ever forward.


The family picture is incredibly revealing. Bush is planted between the nominee and his family, and Roberts only has eyes for the President. The angling of the podium further shoves the family to the outside. The empty halls of power behind the men, with nice red carpet reminds me of Aggamemnon.

The family? :shudder:

That is soooooo dysfunctional, it is scary. The mother and daughter are terrified of being in public: probably brutalized verbally on a daily basis for never being good enough.

Posted [at Bagnewsnotes] by: hauksdottir | July 21, 2005 04:32 AM

Posted by David Cohen at July 22, 2005 7:33 PM

The mother and daughter are terrified of being in public: probably brutalized verbally on a daily basis for never being good enough.

Yes, it must be some sort of domestic abuse. It couldn't possibly be nervousness at standing next to the President at a press conference, right?

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 22, 2005 8:02 PM

And people get upset when I make analogies to Pinochet's Chile where about 3000 leftists and troublemakers were taken down to the soccer stadium and killed. People who complain about the deportment of Roberts' family deserve a fate worse than mere execution.

Posted by: bart at July 22, 2005 8:11 PM

"The children, of course, are innocents".

No, the moonbats would sacrifice them, too.

Barbara and Jenna Bush should denounce this 'reporter' by name, simply stating that one day their father will have grandchildren, and with luck, they will have the spunk of little Jack Roberts. This woman, on the other hand, will have nothing but bitter jealousy.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 22, 2005 8:23 PM


What are you doing?

Posted by: oj at July 22, 2005 8:45 PM

Is this the same Robin Givhan who appears with Howard Stern? Strikes me that the familly was dressed appropriately for the seriousness of the occasion. The LLL loved it that little JFK was so cute and yet this kid who was not acting any worse was being dissed by this broad. This is the same broad who complained about the athletes showing up in flip-flops. Pathetic what the media has descended to!!

Posted by: dick at July 22, 2005 10:12 PM

Yep, Rbts wife is really terrified of being in public. Yep I bet he keeps her chained to the stove.

What's that your say? she's a high-powered DC attorney?

Oops never mind.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at July 22, 2005 10:30 PM

They did look a bit too perfect, and 40 years out of style. I had a seersucker suit like that when I has that boy's age. That being said, this all just shows how pathetic, paranoid and petty the moonbats are.

Posted by: Dave W. at July 22, 2005 11:01 PM

Or perhaps they knew they would be subject to vicious psycho-babble transference by some vacuous reporter-ette still haunted by her collegiate lesbianism and dripping with contempt for the wholesome family life she threw away, yet still craves, when she comes home alone to her high-priced brownstone, while the cat rubs her ankle as she mouths the words to a Turner Movie Classic only to cry herself to sleep.

I could be wrong.

Posted by: Noel at July 22, 2005 11:09 PM

People dress like that all of the time in Utah, on Sunday.

I perceive the styling to be rather "classic", not "outdated".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 23, 2005 1:45 AM

You couldn't write parody like that article. Demented. Bitter. Pathetic. Robin Givhan has it all.

I thought the kids were adorable. Bush was fighting not to crack up. I am sure that Jane Roberts went nuts trying to find appropriate clothes for the biggest event of their young lives. And then to have it sniped in the newspapers.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 23, 2005 2:38 AM

The shiny "holidays", lacy socks and dress are exactly what 99% of middle class girls would have worn. Both my daughters have the same basic outfits.

The saddle shoes on Jack were a bit odd but everything else was great. Since when is having your kids get dressed up for a big occasion a character flaw?

Posted by: Bob at July 23, 2005 8:28 AM

saw a picture of givahns, and it is just what you would expect -- ugly and shriveled. and she had a crazed look so common on the left.

Posted by: cjm at July 23, 2005 12:20 PM

Good thing MoDo's not around.

Posted by: Genecis at July 23, 2005 1:39 PM

Why didn't Ms. Givahns just airbrush a little Hitler mustache on Mr. Roberts and the swastika in the background?

Liberal philosophy 101: If you cannot win on facts and ideas, just attack the person's family!

Posted by: MAG at July 26, 2005 3:18 AM