Well Alberto Gonzales is an unethical lawyer and and Michael Chernoff is a horrendous administrator and Dick Cheney is just an evil human being, so I should not be surprised that Bush's Education Secretary is just a bad reader. She was the summer reader on NPR, and the piece featuring her summer reading was included in the NPR Books podcast I listened to on the way to work this morning.
She lurvvvved Eat Pray Love, unsurprisingly - and that's fine. But repeatedly referring to books as "entertaining" seemed a bit daft to me. I grew suspicious, I must admit, when she not only mentioned how excited she was to start Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, but also said she was chatting with the First Lady about it. I guess Senorita Bush loved it. Hm. "It's about women in Afghanistan, you know," she said, very knowledgeably... actually, in a tone that resembled someone dimwitted trying to impress a colleague.
I know it's easy to romanticize the past, but remember that photograph, possibly from Life Magazine, of Jacqueline Kennedy on the campaign trail, in a plane, reading On the Road? I'm ready to have two smart people occupying the White House again.... two smart readers with smart readers in the Administration who do NOT say, as Spellings did, that given all the time in the world to read any book, they'd read the Harry Potter books. Are you f'ing serious?!!?!?! I'm all for the books, but surely you don't need all the time in the world to read 7 kids books, lady.