Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cindy McCain and Army Wives

A couple of nights ago I was looking for some relief from politics and found a movie to watch on Lifetime. Nothing like a chick flick to provide some easy background noise as the evening progresses. I was watching "Beauty Shop" starring Queen Latifah and enjoying her acting style. Ah, escapism. Then a commercial. I was looking down at my book and I hear the voice of Barack Obama. What? It's Obama talking about a previous commercial advertising the new season, starting tomorrow, for the Lifetime show, Army Wives. Then, he pitches his campaign lines about veteran care, military families, blah, blah. After the stomach stopped churning, I decided to relax a bit and see if the other campaign would be represented. Sure enough, the next commercial was one of McCain, talking about how he and Cindy watch and enjoy Army Wives (he said she makes him watch with her) and then he spoke about the role of the military and military families. I saw a second McCain commercial later that night after a promo for Army Wives.

Is there no place to hide?

For the record, I love the show. I've been a faithful viewer since it's beginning and even watch the re-runs. The new season starts tomorrow night and I'll be watching. And, also for the record, my husband doesn't watch with me. It irritates him as a little too politically correct for his taste. To each his/her own is what I say.

I read the interview with Cindy McCain in the current issue of Vogue magazine. It was written by Julia Reed, an old school Southern Democrat who, last I knew, was based out of New Orleans. It was a surprise to me that the interview reads as pleasant and non-judgemental as it does. Though it is not the same kind of photo used of Cindy McCain as was used by Michelle Obama - for Obama's interview she was dressed as Jacqueline Kennedy with the black dress and pearls, hair in the little flip. Cindy McCain was relaxing on a chaise lounge on the balcony of a new condo she purchased in California. She was wearing, according to the credits, a Michael Kors sweater and Lucky Brand Jeans (size 0). Oh yeah, and it was written her pedicure (bare feet in photo) was chipped and McCain said, "I don't have time for pedicures". Can't leave that important point out.

The article focused on her long history of relief work around the world, beginning in 1984 when, on a scuba diving trip to Micronesia she was inspired to devote her life to such work as she observed the conditions at a local hospital when her friend was injured and brought there for care. She began with sending medical supplies to the island and then formed American Voluntary Medical Team, a nonprofit mobile medical unit. Over the next seven years Cindy usually accompanied relief missions all over the world from Sri Lanka and Cambodia to Afghanistan and Kuwait. The article mentions that this medical unit was the first private team from the U.S. to go in after the Gulf War.

The story is retold of Cindy bringing home two orphans from Bangladesh, one a few weeks old with a cleft palate and one a newborn with a heart defect. The former became the McCain's adopted daughter, Bridget, and the latter was adopted by friends hoping to adopt a child. "When she stepped off the plane with Bridget in her arms, her husband asked her where the child might be spending the night. "I told him I thought maybe she ought to come home with us," she tells me, "and he didn't miss a beat." McCain himself tells me, "I was not as astonished as one might think, because that's the kind of person she is." Besides, he adds, "she handed me this touching little baby. It's hard to resist something like that."

About Cindy McCain's travels: "When I remark that she has been to far more countries, particularly countries in distress, than even most presidential contenders, she demurs and says only that she has certainly seen a lot of Africa lately. In fact, she has enlisted her husband -for the first time- to accompany her on her next trip to Angola (which is plagues, she says, by the problem of thousands of abandoned and dangerous SAM missiles), but not until after the election. Though it would be great campaign fodder, she has long refused to mix his business with her work. "She is out there walking through land mines, holding the children, getting them ready for surgery, but it's not for publicity. It's been her whole life", said a long time friend."

I asked my husband about the SAM missiles angle to the Angola story. He's been there several times and always came home with stories of the helicopters that transported the men from land to the offshore oil drilling rigs having to fly a pattern to avoid weapons fire. He's a bit dubious, saying that the crazy men in Angola would have used missiles if they were in fact available on the helicopters and other aircraft, so I am not clear on that. I am clear on the fact that Angola needs all the help it can get.

As First Lady, Cindy McCain said, "My office would be a clearinghouse to help everybody in America, in whatever town, locate a charity in which they could become involved. I really want to encourage people to get off the sofa on Saturday afternoons. If you want a good community, you have to be the one who enables it."

True that.


Jennifer said...

If I had the kind of money she has at her disposal, that's exactly the kind of life I'd like to be leading. As it is, I try to do my part, but it would be a dream realized to be able to have such impact on the world.

Except I could do without the spouse running for president part. I can't imagine the stress, strain and utter exhaustion these candidates and their families endure for the sake of the process.

I used to like Cindy McCain, you know. Right up until you typed 'size 0'.

That bitch.



Never seen Army Wives. Might need to check it out.

Z said...

Great post, Karen, and jennifer, good comments. SIZE O? I might not vote for her husband after all!!!

Karen, I haven't seen ARMY WIVES, either, but I figured it was a "poor army wives, their men are away...this rotten war" OR "poor army wives get 'broody' and have the gardener when they can because gee, who can live without sex for six months", etc......I figured it was a lefty thing...Tell us about it. Are they mostly women portrayed decently? their real lives, or propoganda like I've described? Obviously, it can't be TOO bad or you wouldn't watch, but.......??

srp said...

I haven't watched the Army Wives much. One certain actress has always delivered her lines in a sing song staccato fashion that puts my nerves on edge. She has done it in all the series she has stared in.

About the size 0.... I think it should be illegal to be a size 0. ;)

Dee said...

Its nice to find another fan of the show ;-). I looooooove Army Wives and I'm so excited about Season 2 starting tomorrow.

I haven't seen Obama advertising for it though, that would be enough to make me sick. Talk about taking some of the pleasure away from one of my favorite shows ;-)).

Karen said...

My thoughts EXACTLY when I read the size 0 thing!

I like the show, but since I've never been a military wife, I don't know how accurate it is. My Aunt was wife to a career AF officer and I heard lots of the same kinds of things from her as I grew up. It doesn't offend me with political opinion one way or the other, which is why I like it. But, my husband didn't. Who knows?
Not sure which of the women you're talking about but sometimes I think they get a little carried away with portraying Roxie and her 'wild' one sterotype.

Z said...

But, Karen...then it's not strictly an anti-war thing, right? That's my only curiosity. That can be such a slippery slope; they can exaggerate the problems of wives with husbands away and slam the war that way.
Not that that isn't reality, too, of course, but...most wives understand and cope.
I guess I'll have to watch to see for myself....
size O should be illegal, FOR SURE!!!

Layla said...

Good write-up Karen. I agree with Cindy McCain. To have a good community you have to get up a do it (paraphrased).

As for Michelle yo mama! She stinks. All the Jackie Kennedy dress-up does not make her Jackie. Whatever else one thinks of Jackie - at the end of the day she has more class in her whole body than Michelle will ever have in her little finger.

As for Army Wives, I never missed an episode. Cindy MAKES McCain watch it. LOL! That is a joke because McCain does not look like or appear as the type to be told what to do by anyone - even his lovely wife. I do not believe it. I believe this is propaganda to counteract Obama's fake pc commercial.

My husband did not watch one episode with me. I did invite him too, but he said it is a spinned out woman's show about army wives that deserve their due, but is far from reality.

I happen to agree with him, but I will watch faithfully anyways because it is excellent drama. The best I have seen in ages and the closest thing to wholesome in forever.

Nikki said...

Hey Karen, I always turn on Lifetime when I need an escape too. There is nothing like a refreshing diet coke and some tv smut to put you in a good mood. for real. I have seen this advertised and I will definately check it out since good tv is slim pickins for sure... and my hubby and your hubby will be on the same page. :)N

Karen said...

No. I don't think they push an anti-war agenda. It's just the stories about life on the base and the military families. Hollywood version, sure, but it's escapism.

AC said...

That size -0- was just one arm, right?

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Being an Heiress, Cindy could have lived a life of concentrating on herself. Instead she wants to accomplish things that help other ppl.

Cindy rocks.

Beverly said...

I love your posts and all the commenters who stop by. Keep up the good work! I learn a lot reading them because I just don't watch the news a whole lot!

Z said...

ac..I'd settle for if that Size 0 was one THIGH!!

Karen, thanks for the head's up. Now I have to find out when Army Wives is on. I could use some TV other than NEWS NEWS NEWS thanks!

Janie said...

Good writing, Karen.

I think Mrs. McCain rocks. And will continue to do so.