Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review July 21, 2004 / 3 Menachem-Av, 5764

Tony Snow

Tony Snow
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


Political Pop Quiz

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | John Edwards got ambuscaded the other day when Don Imus asked if he knew the price of milk and other grocery-store comestibles. Edwards fluffed the question, of course, which placed him in a league with just about every male shopper on the face of the earth, and every office-holder whose staff wasn't bright enough to anticipate the obvious question.


Pop quizzes are hardy perennials in national politics, and they're always designed to expose would-be officeholders as clueless fools. President Bush got hammered four years ago when a Boston reporter asked him to name the leaders of four nations. Edwards became the latest victim of the dairy-section equivalent of "The Price Is Right." I don't think the food-cost question serves as a decent surrogate for understanding how The Little People live. The quiz is a relic of pre-scanner days, when people paid more actual attention to such things as the price of milk (which goes for just less than three bucks a gallon at our local store).


It's good and mete to determine how well-connected politicians are with the people they purport to represent, but reporters need to update their avenue of attack. It's time to jettison these pre-modern, pre-scanner lines of interrogation and find something a little more revealing. Here are some proposed questions:

  • What's the name of your favorite cashier at the grocery store?


  • Do you know the name of any local gas-station attendants?


  • Or, if you're really wealthy: Do you know the names of your housemaid's children?


After all, the real point of "connection" is not to talk about money, but to talk about people's actual lives. If you know your cashier, chances are you know something about the politics of the grocery store, the vagaries of the check-out employee's personal life, and maybe even a thing or two about the piquant tragedies and fleeting triumphs one experiences at home and work.


So let's get rid of the grocery-store test — and replace it with the grocery-store employee test.

Donate to JWR



Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Comment on JWR contributor, and syndicated talk show host, Tony Snow's column by clicking here.

Tony Snow Archives


Up

© 2004, Fox News Channel