Beverly Hills 90478

Today’s Wall Street Journal carries Jeffrey Zaslow’s excellent column on politicians’ coping with political loss. The column includes poignant reflections from the families of Michael Dukakis and Geraldine Ferraro, but the column’s sidelong glance at President Bush is particularly striking:

I interviewed George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas, and he spoke frankly about how family bonds are tested. He said he had a “tempestuous” relationship with his daughters, then 13 years old. They listened to “songs that demean women” and watched “TV shows that disgust me,” he said. “I’m constantly at war with them over that ‘90748’ — whatever that is, the one with all the numbers.” (He was referring to “Beverly Hills 90210.”)
But he said he had come from a family that practiced “absolute love” — no matter what. That had carried the family through its lowest moments, including his father’s losing 1992 re-election bid, and his brother’s loss in the 1994 Florida governor’s race. After their defeats, the future president said, he comforted both men by listening more than talking. “There’s not much you can say but ‘I love you.’ I made sure I said it.”


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