CRAWFORD, TX- Longtime news service reporter Helen Thomas has won the grudging affection of every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy with her disarming bluntness and redeeming wit. The jury is still out, however, on how her latest coup will affect her legacy as a thorn in the side of the most powerful man in the world.
On Saturday, Thomas crashed the wedding of presidential daughter Jenna Bush and Henry Hager and objected to the proceedings when the minister prompted those in attendance to speak now or forever hold their peace.
A shocked gasp traveled through the gathering, then the minister ignored Thomas and continued administering the nuptial vows as Thomas began to list her reasons for objecting. The list was a summary of the Bush administration policies that have driven the president's disapproval rating to record levels.
Although she failed to halt the nuptials, Thomas's efforts were not completely in vain.
Immediately after the recessional, the new Mrs. Hager angrily hurled her bouquet at Thomas, who deftly caught it with one hand while continuing to read the list of objections she held in her other hand.
The bride's entourage of single friends uttered a collective moan of disappointment as Thomas insisted the throw counted and refused to return the bouquet.
Thomas is now safely established at the age of 87 as the oldest woman ever to catch the bridal bouquet at a wedding.
As Secret Service agents escorted her from the premises, Thomas stated her intentions to start looking for a husband as soon as she gets back to Washington, then resumed her reading of the list of objections until she was stuffed into the back seat of a Secret Service car and whisked away.
Although the invitation list was throughly screened and security was tight, dozens of video clips of the wedding complete with Thomas's heckling have appeared on You Tube.
A complete transcript of Helen Thomas's objections to the Bush wedding will be presented as a five installment series beginning today in Section B, pages 1-43.