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I caught a bit of the president's press conference last night. Not the statement, but most of the Q & A.

For a while I tried to pretend that Bush was my president, that he represented my beliefs and whatnot, to see how I would see him: Lord, it was awful. He is just such an atrocious public speaker, I am simply amazed that he managed to score this job, for real. Arrghh, total wince-inducing. It's not just the grammar and the misspeaks and the made-up words -- the man just cannot think on his feet. I'm not so hot at thinking on my feet either, but I'm also not a politician.

Why does he have to keep saying that everything he's done is right? Do they all do this? I must admit that I didn't pay very much attention to politics until this monkey came into office, so I don't know. Do they have to act that way? I remember a year or so ago, right before we actually went into Iraq, watching something on C-SPAN, it was Tony Blair taking questions from a committe of Parliament peeps. Explaining why they would be backing us upin Iraq. And say what you will about his motives, at least he talked like a real person. He answered their questions much like a human being would. He may have been spinning what he was saying, but he was actually answering the questions that they were asking, rather than launching into a pre-written spiel that was only vaguely relevant. Man, when does that happen in America? Like never! It has to be due in a large part to the parliamentary process. Oh MAN do I love that shit. Last night they said that this was Bush's twelfth (12th) press conference so far. Shit, Blair has to deal with people YELLING at him and MAKING FUN of him every -- damn, I don't know, but all the time! If you're a politician in Britain, you'd better be a damn good public speaker, and brave, and LOUD, and sarcastic. Or you will not last two seconds. We need something like that here, all our politicians get are yes men.

This post is meandering and disjointed, but I gotta jet. Sorry. You know what I mean, though, right?

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
greatmonkeygod
Apr. 14th, 2004 02:10 pm (UTC)
As far back as I can remember -- this is my lifetime, of course -- all of our presidents have managed to make their public appearances sound like a somebody reading a retail company's mission statement, and all responses to any questions asked sound like the form letter you get back when you complain about your socks being the wrong color.

It is interesting that, as refined as the political machine should be by this point in our nation's history, we would end up with a president quite so inept at manipulating the public. I find myself thinking that I, myself, could certainly have come up with better responses to some of the questions tossed out -- even in defense of recent executive actions -- rather than using the presidential keyword-based slide-rule to direct me to a prewritten passage that only vaguely applies.

Of course, it would be different if every reporter who asked a question was given one follow-up, such as "What does that have to do with the budget?" and "Did you not understand my question, or what?"
littlewashu
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:26 am (UTC)
Of course, it would be different if every reporter who asked a question was given one follow-up, such as "What does that have to do with the budget?" and "Did you not understand my question, or what?"

TOTALLY. Also, Bush's question-and-answer sessions are often scripted. And it's so infuriating when he makes REFERENCES to that. Jesus, at least PRETEND to be smart, guy. You must be SOME smart to have made it this far, Dad or no Dad. Freaking try to show it.
ranai
Apr. 14th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)
A couple of years ago, in December of 2001, I was at one of those "town hall meetings" here in Orlando, where Bush was speaking. I went with PJ's family, who are rabid Republicans. I went in ready to roll my eyes a lot. And okay, I DID roll my eyes some, but I was surprised at how personable he was up there. He was really.... dare I say it? Charismatic. I couldn't understand. I mean, I left still hating Bush, and he actually went down shaking hands on my row and we did make eye contact and there was a hesitation as he soooorta stuck his hand out sooooorta to me and I did a slight shake of my head and he immediately went and jovially greeted the guy next to me. I suppose the difference was that that entire thing was scripted for him--it was to reassure the hospitality industry that September 11 wouldn't dictate business for very long, which it sorta did--and in those situations he can do rather well. But not in the REAL world.

cricket186
Apr. 14th, 2004 03:49 pm (UTC)
You know it's scary how lofty and irrelevant Bush's speeches are. The rhetoric that leaves that man's mouth is nothing but a continual campaign to defend his own actions. It makes it impossible to analyze anything he says without impartiality. But speeches by presidents have always been a mechanism of political posturing, designed to win votes. Long gone are the days of inspirational speeches or even calculated logic among American politicians.

I wish more of them were like Blair, but even Blair is a pretty un-inspiring guy. I dunno I think it's sad that leaders don't move people anymore in the way they used to. Maybe we need more blaring 50's microphones.



techsmurf
Apr. 14th, 2004 06:01 pm (UTC)
My mom's boyfriend (Republican) dragged me out of my room to watch the conference... I kept wanting to bring up the fact that he(Bush) did very little question answering when compared to his question responding, but he(boyfriend) would just begin branding me as unpatriotic and close himself off to reason.
littlewashu
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:27 am (UTC)
So, like, he wasn't embarrassed at all? Like I said, even if I agreed with this guy's views, it would be so painful to watch. Heck, even MORE painful. Ugh.
qed
Apr. 14th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC)
I guess it's the sound bite affect. If you assume the news media/oppostion as campaign is going to edit whatever you say into 8-second digestible chunks, seems like it's more important to make sure you don't have any bad sound bites than it is to actually compose a meaningful response.

Dunno why that doesn't affect Blair. Maybe since the British are stuck with BBC, they don't watch so much TV.
christy_p
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:30 am (UTC)
I was gonna say the same thing...seems like politicians in general (in the US) always respond based on how it could be used in a sound bite. it's very unfortunate because it seems that they hardly ever answer the question they were asked........
littlewashu
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:39 am (UTC)
I guess it's the sound bite affect.

I hadn't thought of that, that is a good point.

Dunno why that doesn't affect Blair. Maybe since the British are stuck with BBC, they don't watch so much TV.

Hmm. What do you mean by "stuck with"? The BBC has no commercials, and allows shows which are far more "risque" to be shown than in the US, despite it being government-controlled. If you mean that it's boring, well, that's just a matter of taste I guess.

Personally, I think that Blair is just a better speaker (and, frankly, smarter), and can speak plainly without saying things that can be turned against him later. Bush's advisors must HATE it when he is forced to speak, because they know they'll have to clean up his messes later. The man requires close supervision.
qed
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:51 am (UTC)
I don't actually have a problem with the BBC. Dr. Who and Monty Python more than outweigh Absolutely Fabulous, and I'm sure there are a ton of good BBC shows that don't make it onto PBS over here. But I would guess with fewer competing "news" programs, the BBC news can actually maintain some semblence of actual journalism.

I became a big Tony Blair fan during the runup to the Iraq war, and it seems like a lot of people our age did too. It was refreshing to hear someone making credible arguments for the pro-war case, even if many of them turned out to be wrong. I can't even imagine the horrors of being press secretary under G.W. Bush.
swolfe
Apr. 15th, 2004 07:18 am (UTC)
don't lie. you love ab-fab
neverbefound
Apr. 14th, 2004 08:56 pm (UTC)
so. i'm all intrigued and stuff.

add?
littlewashu
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:10 am (UTC)
You're missing a few nouns in there, kiddo. Can you add *me*? Of course, there is no need to ask. Will I add *you*? Sure, I'll give it a go for a little while, despite my gargantuan Friends list.

I must warn you that my updates are few and far between, these days.
neverbefound
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
good point...our friends lists are both probably top-heavy, so I'll move on... sorry to bother you.

(but thanks for calling me 'kiddo'... it's been a long time)
littlewashu
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
Wait, I said yes! What did I miss?
neverbefound
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:43 am (UTC)
sorry...i thought i'd pissed you off (?)

littlewashu
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:48 am (UTC)
Oh man, please turn down your pissed-off-o-meter! Because I'm one of those people who thinks that being a total asshole is charming and affectionate. That wasn't even close! That was the most polite I've been in weeks!

Besides, I used my Kurt-Vonnegut-gently-smiling-over-his-shoulder icon. I surely would not use Kurt for a pissed-off comment.

ADDED, and that's that.
neverbefound
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC)
well your icons are severely diggable. (I didn't know steve martin was ever *that* young...)

I went ahead and put you on the weird filters, since there's not much interesting otherwise... if you want off just squeal or something.

neverbefound
Apr. 15th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC)
evidently my lack of sleep is clouding my judgment.

let's give it a shot, then? (adding you now... do you want to be on the 'crazy personal life' filters?)
king_kai
Apr. 15th, 2004 07:53 am (UTC)
mars, bitch
last night i determined that if bush had just been completely up front in his approach (like black bush), i would be totally supportive of him.
qed
Apr. 15th, 2004 01:13 pm (UTC)
Re: mars, bitch
There's better be some fucking Chapelle Show reruns on this weekend...
king_kai
Apr. 16th, 2004 07:22 am (UTC)
Re: mars, bitch
saturday night, unless i'm mistaken...
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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