I get what he was trying to say, but even then, his statement isn’t right. Ugliness, like beauty, is comparatively rare.
A definition of terms: Ugliness is not mere unattractivenes; it is repulsiveness. Ugliness means aversion, nausea. Natural selection ensures that only a few people are actually ugly.
We must of course concede that aesthetic statements have an inherent subjectivity. The vast majority of American women will get the chance to reproduce their genes. Someone will find them beautiful, or beautiful enough. A particular shape in the eye or mouth, a certain lilt in the voice, these and other factors will charm some men but not others. One man will fine in one woman the thing he has been longing for, another man will look at the same woman and see nothing at all. The vast majority of women, like the vast majority of men, are merely average.
But knee-weakening, brain-melting, induce-grown-men-to-act-like-schoolgirls-at-a-Beatles-Concert beauty? They are exceedingly rare, and that is probably a good thing.
Of course, it’s lame that Rendell apologized. We really ought to learn to let such obvious brain farts slide.