A Columnist's Familiar Waitress Test,
Now Reconsidered for the Campaign
'What does Barack Obama have to say to working-class women? Plenty. But they're used to being talked at, especially by men. The guy who proves he's willing to listen and then offer real-life solutions to their all-too-real problems is the guy who will get their votes. My mother, who was an hourly wage earner until she died, always said to her daughters, "Don't marry him until you see how he treats the waitress." She was talking about picking a husband, but it's a good test for picking a President, too, and one likely to be used this year by working-class women of every age.'
--from an interesting new article in The Nation, by Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz. We rather liked how she artfully used her mom's oft-cited "waitress test" from her blue-collar upbringing in Ashtabula, Ohio, only now applied to the current presidential race. She tells us that the piece came as a result of Nation editor Katrina V. seeing her on the Charlie Rose show last year. You, know, the preening PBS guy who can't shut up long enough to listen to his guests answer his questions. Sure enough, he seems to have done so again. According to the show's website, one viewer of that interview had this reaction: "Have you measured your verbiage vs. Connie Schultz's verbiage on the Aug. 29th show? You interrupted her so many times, and did more of the talking than she did! And you treated her as a buffoon. Why is this? I would have loved to have heard her finish her answers, and hear more of her own ideas, instead of your pre-supposed version of her ideas. If you know so much about these people, then why do you interview them in front of us?"
UPDATE: Connie talks about her mom's legacy in this video.