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"Hail to the Chief

Published:

From Powerlineblog.com ..... if you remember I've never thought Pres. Bush was dumb. 

 
"Hail to the Chief

 

I had the opportunity this afternoon to be part of a relatively small group who heard President Bush talk, extemporaneously, for around forty minutes. It was an absolutely riveting experience. It was the best I've ever seen him. Not only that; it may have been the best I've ever seen any politician. If I summarized what he said, it would all sound familiar: the difficult times we live in; the threat from Islamic fascism--the phrase drew an enthusiastic round of applause--the universal yearning for freedom; the need to confront evil now, with all the tools at our disposal, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a better and safer world. As he often does, the President structured his comments loosely around a tour of the Oval Office. But the digressions and interpolations were priceless.

The conventional wisdom is that Bush is not a very good speaker. But up close, he is a great communicator, in a way that, in my opinion, Ronald Reagan was not. He was by turns instructive, persuasive, and funny. His persona is very much that of the big brother. Above all, he was impassioned. I have never seen a politician speak so evidently from the heart, about big issues--freedom, most of all.

I've sometimes worried about how President Bush can withstand the Washington snake pit and deal with a daily barrage of hate from the ignorant left that, in my opinion, dwarfs in both volume and injustice the abuse directed against any prior President. (No one accused Lincoln of planning the attack on Fort Sumter.) Not to worry. He is, of course, miles above his mean-spirited liberal critics. More than that, he clearly derives real joy from the opportunity to serve as President and to participate in the great pageant of American history. And he sees himself as anything but a lame duck, which is why he is stumping for Republican candidates around the country.

It was, in short, the most inspiring forty minutes I've experienced in politics."  Posted by John at 08:25 PM

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/015081.php

"Hail to the chief, take 2

 

On the heels of John's eyewitness account of President Bush speaking extemporaneously before a friendly group in Minnesota yesterday afternoon comes Kathleen Parker's column with her own eyewitness account of President Bush at an off-the-record luncheon with a hundred or so supporters. Like John, Parker was impressed:

What I witnessed was revealing. Not only was the man fluent in the English language and intellectually agile, he was knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects raised during a 90-minute Q&A. Someone apparently had been slipping intellectual-curiosity tablets into Bush's cola.

Toward the end, one of the guests said, "Mr. President, I think if Americans could hear you speak the way you have today, you'd have a 95 percent approval rating."

I think that's almost true. Not 95 percent, obviously, but he'd surely have a higher than 30 percent approval rating were he better able to explain what he's thinking. Bush does know; he just can't seem to say.

Why? Parker has a theory:
My theory dovetails with something one of his most acerbic critics, columnist Molly Ivins, once wrote: "George W. Bush sounds like English is his second language.'' That's because it's true. "Washington English'' is a second language for Bush; "Texas English'' is his first.

When he tries to speak Washington English, which is the way Bush thinks presidents are supposed to speak -- over-enunciating and sprinkling his comments with awkward aphorisms -- he fumbles. He forgets what he's saying because the thoughts and words are not his own.

This is also when his annoying sibilance kicks in. The "terroristsssssss," he says when "terrorists" would do. My guess is he over-enunciates to cover his prairie accent, but the effect is, well, sssssstrange.

Tapes of Bush as governor of Texas reveal none of the malapropisms for which he is now infamous. That's because in Texas, he speaks his native tongue -- dropping syllables and esses without fear of criticism or embarrassment. That kind of freedom seems to liberate the man's mind and his mouth.

Anyone who speaks before cameras knows the taste of humility and can relate to the agony of being George Bush.

(I can relate.) During the Reagan administration, occasionally discouraged conservative supporters theorized that Reagan was the victim of misguided advisers and counseled "Let Reagan be Reagan." Taken together, John and Parker make a compelling case to explain the mystery of George Bush: "Let Bush be Bush!"    Posted by John at 08:25 PM
Entry #542

Comments

1.
GBSSRComment by GBSSR - August 26, 2006, 9:27 pm
Excellent summary of G.W. The problem I see with our country is that we divide ourselves by Party rather than stand by the man that's in office. Every President will have flaws,and I'd like to think most are doing what's best for the country!
2.
konaneComment by konane - August 26, 2006, 9:39 pm
A heartfelt thank you for your comments!!!

I've always said that given the amount of chaos and mismanagement he was handed, along with a totally hostile (but now discredited press) he is doing a stellar job.

Only point I vehemently disagree with him on is our current mass invasion.

Seems now that the press is dying at their own hands they're trying to redeem their outright lies with a bit of damage control my friend read about. Too little too late. [insert world's smallest violin]
3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - August 27, 2006, 3:42 am
I must have an "old" dictionary. I thought extemporaneous meant without preparation. To suggest that any politician shows up at a conference without an agenda is ridiculous. That's not to say that the way a person delivers a speech and the way he responds to questions isn't critical, but Mr. Bush certainly wasn't just shooting the breeze with some friends.

"..the agony of being George Bush." Poor George..how he suffers. I'm trying to figure this one out, but I guess I'm not too bright. When I think of the word "agony" images of the more than 6 million children who will die from poverty this year pop up or the 8 people who just died from AIDS while I was typing this post.

"In Texas he speaks his native tongue." Wasn't he born in Connecticut and attended an Ivy League school in the Northeast? Forget the name..think it sounds something like, um, Yale? His Grandfather was a U.S. Senator representing Connecticut. His father was born in my home state of Massachusetts. His mother was raised in a suburb of New York City. I'm quite sure the prep school he attended was Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Maybe he has the good ol' State of Texas to blame when he struggles with pronunciation of our American language or maybe he's just inarticulate. Frankly, I don't care. But it's surprising how Bill Clinton, who grew up in Arkansas, didn't come from a wealthy family with an estate in Kennebunkport, became a Rhodes scholar and one of the most eloquent speakers I ever heard, Southern accent and all.

I don't really believe anyone thinks George Bush is stupid, even those who dislike his politics. After all, he went to Harvard Business School. However, one of my favorite quotes about Mr. Bush is Garry Trudeau's comment in the New Yorker after the 2000 election: "It took his brother, his father, his father's friends, the Florida Secretary of State, and the Supreme Court to pull it off. His entire life gives fresh meaning to the phrase 'assisted living'."


4.
konaneComment by konane - August 27, 2006, 10:15 am
Agony is relative to the person experiencing it. For me it would be public speaking also because as I've stated before I also have a faltering speech pattern especially around people I don't know well so end up sounding exceedingly stupid. Also am asthmatic on occasion when my allergies kick up, so trying to speak while not being able to take a full breath which IMHO constitutes agony.

President Bush was reared in Texas if my information is correct. I have relatives in Texas, have visited from time to time and found their accents, intonations, dialects to be different. On the other hand I've had the pleasure of meeting some local Georgia self made multi-millionaires who by anyone's standards sounded pretty country-fied. So to judge someone by how they speak or how they dress down south can be a real error in judgment.

Read an article about Clinton some time back about when he was young he would be called upon to recite or otherwise perform some oratory function for his grandmother's friends, so apparently learned how to effectively speak from that experience much like a dog learns to perform tricks on command. However I personally have never been able to separate his great oratory capability from a pure BS factor because he proved over and over every time he opened his mouth lies dropped out. He reminds me way too much of a sociopath I once worked for. Experience one and you can spot another a mile away.

Seems one of GW's challenges this lifetime is learning how to deflect resentment and hatred due to both his current duly elected position and his station in life. He seems to be doing just fine in all respects. His lessons in life seem to be around having money where the majority of us have lessons around acquiring it, one the mirror image of the other but both lessons we all have to learn.

However, consider this that whoever wins a major lottery would be faced with the same antagonistic attitude of pure jealousy, resentment, for their newfound affluence and "assisted living." It's just one of life's lessons we learn in due time or lifetime as the case may be ..... then move on to the next lesson.

Afterthought ..... have said it before and will say it one more time that whoever resents another person's abundance/wealth is blocking the path to their own abundance/wealth big time. Most resentment comes from holding onto old attitudes of poverty mentality, that there is only so much to go around. When someone truly considers the unlimited possibilities of the universe/God they begin to see blockages within themselves which have prevented that abundance from flowing into them and begin to remove them. Just perhaps that's what the truly wealthy have done in previous lifetimes and why they have what they have today. And just perhaps the truly poor have chosen to come into this lifetime to pay for something they did to someone else in a previous lifetime which we have no way of knowing decisions behind those choices. Life isn't quite as haphazard as it appears on the surface.

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