7 March 2016

George Bush is no Gene Kelly!

On 16 March 2008, Maureen Dowd, journalist for The New York Times, wrote a column about then-president George Bush in which she compared him to Gene Kelly: "The dollar's crumpling, the recession's thundering, the Dow's bungee-jumping and the world's disapproving, yet George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly, tap-dancing and singing in a one-man review called "The Most Happy Fella"."

While reading the column, Patricia Ward Kelly --Gene Kelly's third wife and married to Kelly from 1990 until his death in 1996-- was shocked by the comparison made by Dowd and immediately wrote a letter to the editor.

To the Editor:
Re "Soft Shoe in Hard Times" (column, March 16):
Surely it must have been a slip for Maureen Dowd to align the artistry of my late husband, Gene Kelly, with the president's clumsy performances. To suggest that ''George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly'' represents not only an implausible transformation but a considerable slight. If Gene were in a grave, he would have turned over in it.
When Gene was compared to the grace and agility of Jack Dempsey, Wayne Gretzky and Willie Mays, he was delighted. But to be linked with a clunker -- particularly one he would consider inept and demoralizing -- would have sent him reeling. 
Graduated with a degree in economics from Pitt, Gene was not only a gifted dancer, director and choreographer, he was also a most civilized man. He spoke multiple languages; wrote poetry; studied history; understood the projections of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes. He did the Sunday Times crossword in ink. Exceedingly articulate, Gene often conveyed more through movement than others manage with words.
Sadly, President Bush fails to communicate meaningfully with either. For George Bush to become Gene Kelly would require impossible leaps in creativity, erudition and humility. 
Patricia Ward Kelly
Los Angeles, March 16, 2008 
Source: The New York Times

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