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…
In a time when most children are dressed in Gap Kids and retailers of similar price-point and modernity, the parents put young master Jack in an ensemble that calls to mind John F. “John-John” Kennedy Jr.
Separate the child from the clothes, which do not acknowledge trends, popular culture or the passing of time. They are not classic; they are old-fashioned. These clothes are Old World, old money and a cut above the light-up/shoe-buying hoi polloi.
OK, they’re having trouble so far getting political traction against the nominee, they’ve tried “outing” his wife as a radical Catholic who volunteers in her church and for pro-life organizations, and now it’s time to go after the kids by saying, “you’re too perfect and your mother dresses you funny.”
Look, the president didn’t invite the family to drop by the White House for a cook-out. Perhaps the family’s thought process went, “Hmmm, president, White House, cameras…flip-flops or church clothes?”
Here’s another thought (which puts me at least two ahead of Ms. Givhan): how about Ozzy Osbourne for Chief Justice?