LORELAI: Man, that was some stealthy little maneuver she pulled there, huh? Applying the guilt over not knowing about the Dean breakup and making you all weak, and then using that to get Jess to come to dinner on Friday. She’s like Lyndon Johnson with the Senate, effortless.
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), often referred to by his initials LBJ, the 36th president of the US from 1963 to 1969. Elected to the US Senate in 1948, he was appointed Senate Majority Whip in 1951, and Majority Leader of the Senate in 1954.
Lyndon Johnson is considered the most effective Senate majority leader in history. He was unusually proficient at gathering information, discovering exactly where every senator stood on issues, his philosophy and prejudices, his strengths and weaknesses and what it took to get his vote.
Central to his control of the Senate was what was called “The Treatment”, his way of emotionally manipulating, intimidating, or bullying people into doing what he wanted. Lorelai is suggesting that Emily uses similar techniques to get her own way.
EMILY: A mutual friend or something. LORELAI: You and Dean have mutual friends in common that Rory and I don’t? Who would that be, the Talbotts or that senior partner at Deloitte & Touche?
Possibly referencing Nelson “Strobe” Talbott III (born 1946) [pictured], foreign policy analyst and diplomat from a distinguished family who served as the Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001, during the Clinton Administration. A Yale alumnus, after leaving government he was briefly the Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. Notice that his nickname is said the same way as the name of Rory’s paternal grandfather, Straub Hayden.
Deloitte & Touche
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, commonly referred to as Deloitte, is an international professional services network headquartered in London, England. Deloitte is the largest professional services network by revenue and number of professionals in the world and is considered one of the Big Four accounting firms.
Bad seed, an American expression referring to someone who is evil or unprincipled by their nature, “born bad”.
The expression gained widespread notoriety through the 1956 psychological thriller The Bad Seed, directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Patty McCormack in the title role. It is based on the 1954 play of the same name by Maxwell Anderson, which in turn was based on the 1954 novel by William March. The film is about a sociopathic little girl, and was a hit at the box office, receiving positive reviews from critics.
Rory suggests that Paris was born from the “bad seed” of disgraced president Richard Nixon, to explain why she is such a bad president herself.
PARIS: I move to put to a vote the impeachment of Rory Gilmore.
Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body or other legally constituted tribunal initiates charges against a public official for misconduct. In the US, impeachment at the federal level is limited to those who may have committed “Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”—the latter phrase referring to offenses against the government or the constitution, grave abuses of power, violations of the public trust, or other political crimes, even if not indictable criminal offenses.
The US House of Representatives has impeached an official 21 times since 1789: four times for presidents, 15 times for federal judges, once for a Cabinet secretary, and once for a senator. Of the 21, the Senate voted to remove 8 (all federal judges) from office.
The four impeachments of presidents were: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998, Donald Trump in 2019 and again in 2021. All four impeachments were followed by acquittal in the Senate. An impeachment process was also commenced against Richard Nixon, but he resigned in 1974 to avoid likely removal from office.
As the student advisor says, school councils don’t have the authority to impeach anyone.
ALEX: Ready to try another? I hear there’s one from Peru that comes with a Surgeon’s General warning.
Peru, a country on the west coast of South America. Despite Alex’s warning, Peruvian coffee is said to be mild and light in flavour.
The surgeon general of the United States is the operational head of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States. The US surgeon general is nominated by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.
In 2003, the Surgeon General of the US was Richard Carmona (born 1949); he was in the post from 2002 to 2006. In 2014 he wrote a book called 30 Days to a Better Brain, where he actually promoted coffee as a healthy drink that could improve mood and memory.
Alex’s children are named Hillary and Jeff, aged six and nine; he shares custody of them with his ex-wife. Hillary seem to have named their daughter after Hillary Clinton, previously discussed and frequently mentioned, as a sign of their Democrat allegiance.
LORELAI: Thanks for the invite, I’m sure it’s gonna be great. Uh, so, uh, you guys have a good rehearsal. I’m gonna go on inside and write to Tipper. Great gal. See you guys later.
Mary “Tipper” Gore (born Mary Aitcheson in 1948), social issues advocate, activist, photographer and author who was the second lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. She was married to Al Gore, the 45th vice president of the United States, although they separated in 2010.
In 1985, Gore co-founded the Parents Music Resource Center, which advocated for labelling of record covers of releases featuring profane language, especially in the heavy metal, punk, and hip hop genres of music.
Lorelai pretends she supports Tipper Gore to try to put Zack off being attracted to her. It doesn’t seem to work. Perhaps he didn’t listen.
PARIS: Well, if there’s nothing really to talk about, what’s the point, right?
LOUISE: You said that one student council meeting a week was not enough.
MADELINE: Yeah, you said that was no way to govern, that meeting once a week was lazy, ineffectual, and if we were going to do it like that, we might as well just buy ourselves a ranch in Texas.
Paris referred in her comment to Prairie Chapel Ranch near the town of Crawford in Texas. It was acquired by former president George W. Bush in 1999, and was known as the Western White House. It was used both as a vacation house, a meeting place, and as a place to host visiting dignitaries.
George W. Bush was considered a lazy president, with some wits remarking that he worked “24/7 – 24 hours a week, 7 months a year”.
LORELAI: I can’t believe [the Beales] were related to Jackie.
RORY: Well, the Kennedys kind of hid them in the background for many years.
LORELAI: Well, when you’re a Kennedy, how do you even choose who in the family to hide?
I’m not sure that there’s much evidence that the Kennedy family “hid” Jackie’s relatives away. Jackie and her sister Lee Radziwill certainly didn’t seem to pay them much attention until they began to be featured in the tabloid press as eccentric upper-class hoarders.
However, it’s said Jackie and Lee paid for Grey Gardens to be cleaned up to some extent – the house in the documentary is actually much less of a hovel than it had been previously. And it was Jackie and Lee who approached the filmmakers about the documentary, hoping it could be a way for the Beales to make some money, so they actually helped give them publicity, rather than hid them away.
Lorelai’s snarky comment reflects the number of scandals the Kennedy family have had over the years. She may be specifically thinking of Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy (1918-2005) [pictured], the sister of President John F. Kennedy. Due to a difficult birth, she was developmentally delayed, although it is unknown to what extent, as the Kennedy family kept her life private.
When Rosemary was in the early twenties, she became increasingly irritable, and went into convulsions, as well as attacks of rage in which she would hit other people. At the age of 23, her father, Joseph Kennedy, agreed to her being lobotomised to help control her violent mood swings – he did not tell his wife until the procedure had taken place.
The lobotomy had a devastating effect on Rosemary, whose mental capacity became that of a two year old. She couldn’t walk or speak intelligibly, and was incontinent. She was immediately institutionalised, and separated from her family for over 20 years – her siblings did not know where she was, and the press was told she was “reclusive”. After her father’s death in 1969, she gradually became part of the family again. By that time, she had learned to walk, although with a limp.
Some say that Rosemary was one of the inspirations for Eunice Kennedy Shriver to later found the Special Olympics, although Eunice said that the Games were never about one individual.