2000-08-26 / Columnists

Chatting With Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey

Families Take Center Stage At Conventions

This year during the Republican and the Democratic conventions, the
families of the presidential and vice presidential candidates played a major and significant role.

The news media featured the educational backgrounds of Tipper Gore and Laura Bush. Tipper and Laura both have earned Master's degrees. The importance of this, according to the news is the fact that when either of these women serve as the First Lady, they will be more informed on the causes that they choose to sponsor. Since Tipper and Laura are focusing on educational issues, this will spotlight an area of great concern to our future. Both presidential candidates are focusing on presenting themselves as devoted and wholesome family men.

An interesting part of the Democratic convention was the address by
Karenna Gore - the daughter of Al and Tipper Gore. In my opinion a
daughter's relationship with her father is a very important one. She
interspersed her remarks with personal family happenings that were important to her when she was growing up. These memories support the fact that her father was interested in her schooling and in her personal development.

Karenna Gore Schiff is an intelligent and focused woman who represents the third politically oriented generation in her family. Karenna's
grandfather, Al Gore Sr., served as a senator from Tennessee. Her father
followed in his footsteps by serving in Congress and then moving up to be the vice president. According to reports Karenna is more than Al Gore's
daughter, she is playing an active and integral role in the everyday policy and strategy decisions in his campaigns. Her father notes that her political vibes are in "perfect pitch". However, Karenna is uneasy when people look at her as part of a political dynasty.

Hadassah Lieberman caught the attention of everyone when she introduced her husband who is running for vice president as a "regular Joe". She is a vibrant and energetic woman who has stressed children's issues in her public career. She broke ground by being the first wife to introduce a vice presidential nominee.

During the Republican convention, the media emphasized the Bush political family. Prescott Bush, the father of President George Bush, served in the United States Congress. He paved the road for George Bush Sr. to serve in Congress, as vice president and eventually as President of the United States. During the convention we not only saw the presidential candidate and third generation George W. Bush in action but also had a glimpse of the fourth generation George P. Bush. I was distressed by the press criticism of George W. Bush for seeking and taking advice from his father - the former President. Since as everyone knows I have had over my lifetime a strong bond with my parents, I can't imagine anyone giving you more sincere advice. Parents share their perspectives with us and allow us to make our own decisions. One can only profit from the wisdom and experience of our parents. Having
personally and professionally benefited from advice given to me by my father and my mother, I respectfully disagree with the press.

My favorite joke remains - One is always amazed to find how much our
parents learned between the time that we were 18 and 21 years of age. These campaigns are stressing the value and importance of family and
the influence that continues for generations.


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