Spellings Does Comedy

It seems strangely frivolous and self-indulgent for Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to appear on The Daily Show tonight, given all the fires she has to put out back home (student lending, Reading First, and reauthorizing that pesky law known as No Child Left Behind).

Still, I've got some questions Stewart might ask her.

With this segment, Spellings will apparently be the first sitting cabinet member from the Bush administration to appear on the show, and she is already a media maven. She's appeared on Jeopardy! and is an avowed fan of -- yes -- American Idol, according to Washington Whispers (here). For those keeping track, she came in second on celebrity Jeopardy, to either Lenny or Squiggy, I forget which. She says she's egged on in these pursuits by her daughters. How very reassuring.

Maybe, as suggested in this USA Today story (Education put to the humor test), she's doing this to divert attention from all her troubles. If so, you couldn't blame her -- she's extremely personable and usually has her way with interviewers, especially those of the male persuasion. And she's smart to pick Stewart, not Colbert, who's much more unpredictable and scathing.

Well, here are some questions I think that Stewart should ask Secretary Spellings tonight on the show:

So basically Reading First is being fixed and you've got a commission studying student loans, so we shouldn't worry or anything, right?

In an all-out brawl between you and Secretary of State Condi Rice, who do you think would win, what is your preferred fighting style, and can I watch?

What are we to make of the fact that you are such a big fan of American Idol, a show in which talent matters little and there is a shocking lack of accountability?

How come that guy Alberto is getting such a hard time from Congress while you're sharing laughs and brownie recipes? Is it because he's short, or just because he's Mexican?

People have said you use your charm and pleasantness to defuse tense situations and deflect criticism. Is that fair to say? If so, who do you think is hotter, Senator Kennedy or Congressman Miller (chairman of the education committees)? Hey, did you just wink at me?

A mea culpa is, unfortunately, not likely.

But then again at least she won't be rapping and posing like Karl Rove at this year's Correspondents' dinner.