Thursday, September 04, 2008

Falling out of love with Peggy Noonan

I have been, figuratively speaking, in love with Peggy Noonan for a long time.

Peggy Noonan,was as a speechwriter for President Reagan, and authored his "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" speech on the 40th anniversary of D-day. She also wrote Reagan's address to the nation after the Challenger explosion, drawing upon the poet John Magee's famous words about aviators who "slipped the surly bonds of earth... and touched the face of God."

Later, while working for then-Vice President George H. W. Bush, Noonan coined the phrase "a kinder, gentler nation" and also popularized "a thousand points of light", two memorable catchphrases used by Bush. Noonan also wrote the speech in which Bush pledged: "Read my lips: no new taxes" during his 1988 presidential nomination acceptance speech in New Orleans. Bush's subsequent reversal of that pledge is often cited as a reason for his defeat in his 1992 re-election campaign. She wrote a book "What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era", she appears on many news talk programs on TV as a political commentator and she writes a column, often quoted on this blog, for the "Wall Street Journal." I first remember seeing her on the old Evans and Novak TV interview show.

You will not find her quoted again on this blog.

Yesterday she wrote a nice column about Sarah Palin and John McCain. However when she thought she was off camera and off mike during a discussion on MSNBC she and a political adviser Mike Murphy made some very disparaging remarks about Sarah Palin and John McCain as follows:

The full transcript:

Murphy: ...because I come out of a blue swing-state governor world. Engler. Whitman. Tommy Thompson. Mitt Romney. Jeb Bush. And I mean, and these guys, this is all like how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And, IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK.

Noonan: IT'S OVER.

Murphy: Still, McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech and do himself some good

Chuck Todd. [Unintelligible]... think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson?

Noonan: ...saw Kay this morning. ( Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas)

Todd: [sounds like 'she's not comfortable talking about it????]

Murphy: They're ALL bummed out

Todd: Is she really the most qualified woman?

Noonan: Most qualified? NO. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bull**** about narratives.

Todd: yeah, they went to narratives.

Murphy: I totally agree.

Noonan: Every time Republicans do this, because that's not where they live, and that's not what they're good at, they blow it.

Murphy: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is "no cynicism" and this is cynical.

Todd: And as you called it, "gimmicky"

This morning she wrote an apology in her Wall Street Journal column. I am not buying it. While I will never forget her skill as a speech writer I will never trust her again as a political commentator. I guess she has spent too much time hanging out with the Manhattan political sophisticates who hate middle America.

So Long Peggy. I think Bob Dylan said it best when he said:

Goodbye is too good a word, gal
So I'll just say, fare thee well.
I'm not sayin' you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I don't mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But don't think twice, it's alright.