Maria Shriver has written a report about women or something, that’s definitely liberal in its outlook, because the MSM went wild about it without even having read it first. Mona Charen isn’t so sure there’s much in the report to garner any excitement, either about the report itself or about Shriver’s acumen. And as to that, I have an anecdote, one that I heard about ten years ago. With regards to the statements about Shriver, this anecdote is pure hearsay, so there’s absolutely no way I can vouch for its truth. It also reflects badly on one of the principal characters in the story so, even assuming solely for that sake of argument that it’s true, everything should be taken with a grain of salt. With those huge caveats, here goes:
My Mom has a friend, a wacky little old lady (and all those adjectives are entirely accurate), who comes originally from Vienna. She is — and this is important to the story — singularly unaware of pop culture.
About a decade ago, before the Governator came into being, this lady and her husband were in Sun Valley, Idaho, when they stopped at a restaurant. While there, a family came in: father, mother and four children. The father was huge and the mother tiny, which caught the lady’s attention. Once she and her husband noticed this family, her husband (an American) also noticed that the large man had a think German accent. Neither the lady nor her husband recognized these people.
Because the lady isn’t shy, once she heard the accent, she wandered over to ask the large man if he was, indeed, German. Imagine her delight when he answered that he was Austrian. A short but lively conversation ensued, all in German. He was, she said, very charming. After a few minutes, when the lady noticed that the tiny wife was paying no attention to their conversation, she asked the large man, “Doesn’t your wife speak German?” To which the large man allegedly replied, “No, she’s way too dumb for that.”
The next day, while glancing at the local newspaper, my mom’s friend saw a headline reading “Arnold Schwarzenegger in town,” which was accompanied by a picture of the man with whom she’d spoken the evening before.
As I said, I have no idea if my mom’s friend was telling the truth at all, or relaying events accurately. If true, it speaks well of Schwarzenegger that he was friendly, and speaks very badly of him that he would refer to his wife in those terms. I offer it here only because it seemed apropos given Shriver’s sudden media prominence, whether as a cell phone using scofflaw, or the author of a very partisan paper.