Wait, where were you, Mr. President?

President Bush in the Oval Office
From the transcript of Tim Russert’s interview with President Bush on Meet the Press, Feb. 8, 2004:
“…I’m a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind… ”
“…It’s important for people to understand the context in which I made a decision here in the Oval Office…”
“…They’re not going to develop that because right here in the Oval Office I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment, that they want a constitution eventually written that recognizes minority rights and freedom of religion…”
“…I have shown the American people I can sit here in the Oval Office when times are tough and be steady and make good decisions, and I look forward to articulating what I want to do the next four years if I’m fortunate enough to be their president…”

19 replies on “Wait, where were you, Mr. President?”

I love it when Bush gets away from his handlers and has to think on his feet.
GWB: “you see, free sociaties are sociaties that dont produce weapons of mass terrior and dont blackmail the world”
Uh… George? Who has more mass terror weapons than anyone else on the planet?
Oh thats right… we stopped being a free sociaty a while back….

That would be as opposed to:
“He makes decisions there in the vice presidential secret bunker.”
Repetition helps
“According to an August 2003 article in the Washington Post, President Bush has spent all or part of 166 days during his presidency at his Crawford, Texas, ranch or en route. Add the time spent at or en route to the presidential retreat of Camp David and at the Bush family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, and Bush has taken 250 days off as of August 2003. That’s 27% of his presidency spent on vacation. Although to be fair, much of this time is classified as a “working vacation.”
Bush isn’t the first president to get away from his work. George Bush Sr. took all or part of 543 vacation days at Camp David and in Kennebunkport. Ronald Reagan spent 335 days at or en route to his Santa Barbara, California, ranch during his eight years in office. Of recent presidents, Jimmy Carter took the least days off — only 79 days, which he usually spent at his home in Georgia. That’s less than three weeks a year, which is closer to the average American’s paid time off of 13 days per year.
What about Clinton? As of December 1999, President Bill Clinton had spent only 152 days on holiday during his two terms, according to CBS News. A former staffer noted Clinton was such a workaholic that “it almost killed Clinton to take one-week vacations during August.” In 2000, Clinton cut his summer vacation short to just three days, so he and his wife could concentrate on her Senate race and fundraising for Democrats. While we couldn’t find the exact tally for Clinton’s last year in office, it’s reasonable to expect he didn’t increase his vacation rate. And in barely three years in office, George W. Bush has already taken more vacation than Clinton did in seven years.”

ok, i couldnt resist commenting on this. b/c a few of u seemed to swallow every tidbit of food from the media’s buffet line then regurgitate it back online…wake up, people. start thinking for yourselves…
first of all, george bush is not some bumbling idiot. as a matter of fact, he tests at, or near, genius i.q. level…and you can cut and paste some of his grammatical errors or mispronounced words until your heart’s content-but the truth of the matter is that he is the president of the most powerful, influential, and vital country in the entire world.
as such, people listen when he speaks. all the time. and when given the opportunity, they record what he says. all the time…think about how many dumb things you say in just one day. now triple that number, since most of the times when we say something stupid it’s b/c it just came out wrong and we have no idea we said it. now multiply that number for however many days he has been in the OVAL OFFICE. and then get a grip.
there’s nothing that says you can’t fundamentally disagree with our president on a number of issues. that’s one of the things that makes this country so great. yet to flippantly make fun of our commander in chief is disrespectful to far more than him alone.
in mocking him, you are mocking every person who voted for him. you are mocking soldiers who put their lives on the line to carry out his orders, and you are mocking the parents and loved ones of those who died carrying out those orders…because you are painting him as nothing more than a dopey daddy’s boy who can’t even talk right. and what kind of person would listen to someone like that?
think about it this way: what do u think undermining our president says to the next batch of hijackers?
and before anyone writes me off as some right wing wack job with shrines of bush in my house; i can assure you there’s plenty of things i disagree with him on. in fact, as a general rule, i have my reservations about all politicians.
but as our president, he deserves respect. you don’t have to like him, agree with him, trust him, or even support him. but you should respect him and what he stands for. because he stands for the united states of america.
i’m just so freaking tired of hearing the same groundless and stupid angles used against bush. i’m tired of spin doctors. i’m tired of republicans being haughty and democrats being hypocritical. i’m tired of people blindly choosing sides based on party affiliation as opposed to knowledge. and i’m tired of people disrespecting instead of supporting our president.
i mean, its our country. supporting doesnt mean endorsing, nor even agreeing. it simply means supporting, which is the direct opposite of tearing down.
for example: after clinton directly and irrefutably lied to us, i thought he should be impeached. no two bones about it. a lot of people agreed with me. about 99% were republicans. a lot of people disagreed. about 99% were democrats. (for the record, i’m neither.)…
the sad thing is that a lot of those people- both rep and dems- agreed or disagreed based on their party affilliation. that’s ridiculous and stupid. i got the feeling that if clinton had been a republican, then it would have been them who were defending him and the dems making a fuss.
and even tho i was for impeaching him, after all of that, i still supported him as our president. i didn’t take delight in bashing him for his mistakes or bemoaning his deception. because he was president.
ok, i’m rambling. back to the topic at hand…
to address a few of the comments on this forum:
a.) first off, concerning the initial article; is that supposed to be a bad thing that bush used the phrase “here in the oval office” four times over the duration of a lengthy interview?
yes, of course it was deliberate. but have you never watched a good courtroom drama? juries aren’t constantly being bombarded with new information (because that’s a good way to lose the case). instead, several main points are repetively hammered home, to let there be no mistake on what they are.
personally, i could care less if he said it ten more times. what bothered me (enough to remark on it during the interview to my wife) was how russert completely disregarded bush’s answers to push his own agenda (which for anyone familiar with russert knows is tax cuts).
i haven’t seen the transcript, but on video, it was so obvious that he wasn’t after answers. bush would be in the middle of a sentence and he would cut him off with “okay. what about tax cuts and the deficit?”
apparently he forgot what his job as a journalist entails (like o’brien’s interview of mark cuban for e.s.p.n.)…i mean, how many people tuned in to russert and hear his thoughts on the matter?
“Uh… George? Who has more mass terror weapons than anyone else on the planet?
Oh thats right… we stopped being a free sociaty a while back….”
what exactly do u mean by “we stopped being a free society a while back”??? is it b/c u aren’t allowed to download songs of napster? is that it?… i guess technically you’re right; a completely free society is known as anarchy, which we definitely are not. but u know those guys with shaved heads and swastika tats on their knuckles? they think total freedom is a good idea. so does the crackhead who would like to rape your mother and then takes the tv on his way out the door. (which come to think of it, is EXACTLY what uday hussein enjoyed doing, only for added fun he’d make you watch, and then completely cut of your ears).
i hear shite like “we aren’t free” and it just blows my mind. not being able to walk outside and fire up a j in public isn’t exactly my idea of a totalitarian regime…it’s so en vogue to talk about how un-free we really are. and once again, it comes back to respect.
do u know how offensive that statement is? and grossly wrong? there’s people still alive today who are responsible for the fact we aren’t marching around in jack boots throwing seig heils and burning Jews, Christians, and homosexuals. and there’s even more people alive who are responsible for the fact japanese isn’t our national language…
it almost goes without saying that there’s a whole lot of dead americans who are responsible for those things as well. so watch your mouth.
as for the rest of your ignorant comment about weapons of mass terror- the key word is TERROR. the implications are obvious…go get a dictionary and look up the word “terrorism”. easier yet, close your eyes for a second and picture where you were on 9-11.
that’s terrorism. saddam and his regime tortured, raped, and brutalized innocent civilians freely and at will. he tested out the effects of chemical weapons on his own people. he killed around 500,000 iraqians. millions lived in fear. that’s terrorism.
apparently, your postcard in which you politely asked him to stop being such a bad person, never arrived…it’s a shame too, b/c to get him to stop we had to use up our weapons of mass terror that we were saving for a surpise attack on canada.
c.) as for the president constantly taking vacations; you are a fool if you think any president we’ve ever had has taken a true vacation…

Hey Dreddiefreddie, your argument might be bolstered by some citations. The beauty of the Web is that you can link to other sources to support your point.
Can you find some sources for the first assertion that Bush tests “at, or near, genius level”? And after that, we can work our way through the rest of your comment.
Thanks for posting.

That was a long response (u know which one i mean) – but also a clever and appropriate “defense” of Bush’s performance on Meet the Press –
As McNamara revealed in “Fog of War” (see it!), one of his simple yet effective strategies for staying on top of the press was to ignore the reporter’s question and answer the question he wished had been asked.
This works better for some than others. From the very beginning, Bush answered questions that weren’t asked. That’s why “terror” came up so frequently as an answer, and bizarrely, why “here in the Oval Office” popped up so often as well. That’s the only explanation I can think of, anyway.
But back to DeddieFreddie’s comment. Like the strategy of answering questions that Bush wished had been asked, DF’s response is a rebuttal to a posting he wished had been made.
I really dig the symmetry here – defending Bush by channeling his strategy. What clever satire! Bravo!

The other (unintentionally) amusing thing in Dreddie’s post was the analogy to a lawyer making a closing argument in a movie. Bush is our President, elected by the people, representing the people: why would he choose to emulate the machinations of a lawyer trying to win over a jury? It’s not like people say, “I’m being honest with you–like a lawyer.”

Unintentionally?! Oops!
I was about to make a suggestion to improve the paragraph about mockery – a great punchline would have been to suggest that mocking Bush = mocking God and all Christians (Excelsior!)
… but nevermind. In light of the comment’s lack of irony (oops again!), I actually have to take exception to the suggestion that mocking Bush = mocking my mom (who voted for Bush) = mocking friends (who served in Iraq) as well as their parents.
This is inappropriate and couldn’t be further from the truth. I sense a lot of unfocused frustration in the post though, so perhaps it would be unfair to hold Dreddie accountable for this careless accusation.

Although DF complains about the “media’s buffet line”, it is obvious he has fed from the Bush/Cheney/Fox News buffet line when in one sentence he mentions 9-11 and in the next he’s talking Saddam- the subcontext there is too clear not to take note of. As for his assertion that forcing millions of your own citizens to live in fear is terrorism, the same should be said of Bush- after all, weren’t we all afraid that Saddam could unleash a powerful torrent of weapons on our cities?
What weapons? Never mind that North Korea has an ICBM that could reach the West Coast…..
And Matt, I agree with you 100% except in one area-your lawyer analogy comment. Bush was NOT elected by the people and he certainly doesn’t represent the people. It reminds me of the SOTU when he looked squarely in the camera and made a comment about “rogue judges ignoring the will of elected officials and the people” in the context of gay marriage- Um, can somebody remind him he lost the election and that it was exactly that type of “rogue judiciary” that ignored the will of the people and installed him as president in the first place? Didn’t hear any complaints back then….

LOL… Huff gas.. heck, I thought he just forgot to take his anti-manic pills.
Wheww…. what a rant.
This is the first time I have ever heard george called a genious. I seem to remember his IQ scores being reported as about 105 or so. I would love to see your documentation for your assertions.
I dont think george is an idiot. In fact, he has a terrific memory and can even pronounce some pretty long words. My problem is that I want my president to be much smarter than GWB appears to be.
Its pretty well documented that He does not read very well. During the entire 2000 campaign he was working his way through a single book and it turned out to be a biography of Joe Demagio. he has also stated on numerous occasions that he doesnt read the papers or a lot of the documents that he signs.
A person that does not read cannot be familiar with a wide range of viewpoints and has trouble when encountering new ideas.
He also does not write. The collected writings of GWB is a mighty slim volume. Writing causes one to think deeply about a subject and that does not seem to be something that the man is very good at.
According to many published accounts, george doesnt seem to be very ingaged at his cabinet meetings and other dealings with small groups of people. He doesnt seem to have much control over the stong personalities in his cabinet that have proposed things like the patriot act, clear skys innitiative, healthy forests and no child left behind. From where I sit, it doesnt look like the man is in charge of his own government… and thats pretty scary.
pointing these things out is not an act of disloyalty or treason against the usa. It just means that I expect better. In fact, ignoring these glaring deficiencies as a leader and defending his lack of qulifications may be the worst thing you can do for your country.

I thought they were just mocking the people who voted for him.
Not all those dead soldiers.
I guess that is pretty bad.

i’m not sure you are mocking all those that voted for him by mocking the president. after all, a vote is a singular occurance that happens on election day. it’s easy to say that the number of people who voted for him in 2000 still support him, but i’m not sure it’s that simple. certainly he still has supporters, but like that old baseball saying “momentum is tomorrow’s starting pitcher”, the only true indication of a president’s (or any other elected official) support is in a subsequent election. polls and surveys can be swayed by location and wording, but a vote is the truest indicator.
and i think it’s foolish to comment that someone is “swallow every tidbit of food from the media’s buffet line then regurgitate it back online” and then regurgitate Bush’s own talking points as your argument. Every person forms their opinion based on available information. Some opinions are based on the messenger, some choose the media, some choose the dissenting opinion. the truth is usually a combination of all of them.

Comments are closed.