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."