Maureen Dowd deals with the comments of the former first lady, Barbara Bush in NBC’s the Today Show in her article titled ‘Silver Fox’s pink slip’ in New York Times (April 27):
“Asked on the “Today” show whether she thought her son Jeb should run for president in 2016, as W. has urged, the famously candid and caustic Silver Fox offered the most honest assessment of her oldest son’s legacy.
“He’s by far the best qualified man, but no, I really don’t,” she said when asked if her second son should aim to be the third Bush in chief. “I think it’s a great country. There are a lot of great families, and it’s not just four families or whatever.
But Bar, who was also giving the back of the hand to the Clintons, spit out the truth. It is wearying that America, a country that broke away from aristocratic England has spawned so many of its own royal political families, dynasties that feel entitled to inhabit the White House, generation after generation, letting their family competitions and tensions shape policy and history to an alarming degree.”
I noticed Dowd likes, and used to call the former President by “W.” in many other places (like W.’s presidency will go down in infamy because he ignored Katrina and the Constitution. / W. and other Bush officials continue to say they could not possibly have known that Saddam had no W.M.D. / Sadly, no one in W.’s inner circle studied the issue), and the former first lady by Bar.
Is it a customary way of Americans to call dignitary’s names by an initial or an abbreviation like “W” and “Bar,” or is it just Ms Dowd’s idiosyncrasy?
Does Mr. George W. Bush’s father pass simply by the by-name, H. everywhere as his son does with W.? Are there many Presidents who were called just by an initial besides W. and JFK (Oh, I forgot to add FDR)?
I’m asking this because we have no habit of calling, and nobody would dare to call our Prime Minister (ex-Prime Ministers) and dignitaries by an initial, first name, or without titles.
By the way, what does ‘Silver Fox’ mean, and why Mrs. Barbara Bush is called so? If I called your mom 'Hey, Silver fox,' instead of Mrs. so-and-so, doesn't it sound rude or offensive to your mom, and you?