Bush's Disastrous Interviews: A National Embarrassment

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In summary, the conversation discusses the decline of President George W. Bush's performance in interviews, questioning if he is either drinking again or simply stopped caring. The conversation also mentions his lack of knowledge on certain topics, such as gas prices and a Russian presidential candidate, and his tendency to make jokes and use colloquial language in serious situations. The authors of two articles, Gail Collins and Maureen Dowd, criticize Bush for his lack of leadership and ability to handle crises, comparing his approach to the economic crisis to his response to Hurricane Katrina.
  • #1
jaap de vries
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Is it just me or is Bush doing a lot worse in interviews lately. It almost looks like he is been drinking again, or doesn't care anymore. I really can't watch it anymore without feeling embarrassed for him and for this country.
 
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  • #2
Your assumption is that he cared or stopped drinking in the first place.

Chocked on a pretzel? Please. He got drunk off his ass and fell over is more likely.
 
  • #3
He's probably starting to get an inkling of just how much damage he's done.

However, aside from a decrease in arrogance, to me he appears no more inept than before.


I did enjoy his response to the reporter the other day.

Reporter: Some analysts are predicting that gasoline will hit $4 a gallon this summer.

Bush: Really, I hadn't heard that.
 
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  • #4
That's nothing. Several minutes later, when asked about one of the presidential candidates (I think) of Russia, he said he doesn't know much about him, because he's been spending more time on things like gas prices.
 
  • #5
George Speaks, Badly
By GAIL COLLINS, Op-Ed Columnist, NYTimes, March 15, 2008
Watching George W. Bush address the New York financial community Friday brought back many memories. Unfortunately, they were about his speech right after Hurricane Katrina, the one when he said: “America will be a stronger place for it.”

“You’ve helped make our country really in many ways the economic envy of the world,” he told the Economic Club of New York.

You could almost see the thought-bubble forming over the audience: Not this week, kiddo.

The president squinched his face and bit his lip and seemed too antsy to stand still. As he searched for the name of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (“the king, uh, the king of Saudi”) and made guy-fun of one of the questioners (“Who picked Gigot?”), you had to wonder what the international financial community makes of a country whose president could show up to talk economics in the middle of a liquidity crisis and kind of flop around the stage as if he was emcee at the Iowa Republican Pig Roast.

We’re really past expecting anything much, but in times of crisis you would like to at least believe your leader has the capacity to pretend he’s in control. . . . .

The country that elected George Bush — sort of — because he seemed like he’d be more fun to have a beer with than Al Gore or John Kerry is really getting its comeuppance. Our credit markets are foundering, and all we’ve got is a guy who looks like he’s ready to kick back and start the weekend.

This is not the first time Bush’s attempts to calm our fears redoubled our nightmares. His first speech after 9/11 — that two-minute job on the Air Force base — was so stilted that the entire country felt like heading for the nearest fallout shelter. After Katrina, of course, it took forever to pry him out of Crawford, and then he more or less read a laundry list of Goods Being Shipped to the Flood Zone and delivered some brief assurances that things would work out.

O.K., so he’s not good at first-day response. Or second. Third can be a problem, too. But this economic crisis has been going on for months, and all the president could come up with sounded as if it had been composed for a Rotary Club and then delivered by a guy who had never read it before. “One thing is certain that Congress will do is waste some of your money,” he said. “So I’ve challenged members of Congress to cut the number of cost of earmarks in half.”

Besides being incoherent :rofl:, this is a perfect sign of an utterly phony speech. Earmarks are one of those easy-to-attack Congressional weaknesses, and in a perfect world, they would not exist. But they cost approximately two cents in the grand budgetary scheme of things. Saying you’re going to fix the economy or balance the budget by cutting out earmarks is like saying you’re going to end global warming by banning bathroom nightlights.
I think the US economy will recover much like New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have recovered from Katrina. A few have made out very well, and but many are still waiting or going without.
 
  • #6
Soft Shoe in Hard Times
By MAUREEN DOWD, Op-Ed, March 16, 2008
WASHINGTON
Everyone here is flummoxed about why the president is in such a fine mood.

The dollar’s crumpling, the recession’s thundering, the Dow’s bungee-jumping and the world’s disapproving, yet George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly, tap dancing and singing in a one-man review called “The Most Happy Fella.”

“I’m coming to you as an optimistic fellow,” he told the Economic Club of New York on Friday. His manner — chortling and joshing — was in odd juxtaposition to the Fed’s bailing out the imploding Bear Stearns and his own acknowledgment that “our economy obviously is going through a tough time,” that gas prices are spiking, and that folks “are concerned about making their bills.”

He began by laughingly calling the latest news on the economic meltdown “a interesting moment” and ended by saying that “our energy policy has not been very wise” and that there was “no quick fix” on gasp-inducing gas prices.

“You know, I guess the best way to describe government policy is like a person trying to drive a car in a rough patch,” he said. “If you ever get stuck in a situation like that, you know full well it’s important not to overcorrect, because when you overcorrect you end up in the ditch.”

Dude, you’re already in the ditch.

Boy George crashed the family station wagon into the globe and now the global economy. Yet the more terrified Americans get, the more bizarrely carefree he seems. The former oilman reacted with cocky ignorance a couple of weeks ago when a reporter informed him that gas was barreling toward $4 a gallon.

In on-the-record sessions with reporters — and more candid off-the-record ones — he has seemed goofily happy in recent weeks, prickly no more but strangely liberated and ebullient.

Even though he ordinarily hates being kept waiting, he made light of it while cooling his heels for John McCain, and did a soft shoe for the White House press. Wearing a cowboy hat, he warbled a comic Western ditty at the Gridiron Dinner a week ago — alluding to Scooter Libby’s conviction, Saudis getting richer from our oil-guzzling, Brownie’s dismal Katrina performance, and Dick Cheney’s winsome habit of withholding documents.

At a dinner on Wednesday, the man who is persona non grata on the campaign trail (except for closed fund-raisers) told morose Republican members of Congress that he was totally confident that “we can retake the House” and “hold the White House.”

“I think 2008 is going to be a fabulous year for the Republican Party!” he said, sounding like Rachael Ray sprinkling paprika on goulash. . . . .
Love the analogy to Rachael Ray. :rofl:
 
  • #7
...President Bush suggested fighting on the frontline was "romantic" during a video conference with US military and civilian personnel in the war-torn country.

"I must say, I'm a little envious," he said.

"If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.

"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks." [continued]
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23373396-2,00.html
 
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  • #8
Ivan Seeking said:
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23373396-2,00.html

Unbelievable. How truly horrifying.

How I wish we had a parlimentary system and we could jettison this clueless jerk back to Texas!
 
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  • #9
Cheney runs the show, Bush just dangles from the strings.
 
  • #10
lisab said:
Unbelievable. How truly horrifying.
I'm not quite sure what's horrifying about those quotes. Could someone explain it?
 
  • #11
russ_watters said:
I'm not quite sure what's horrifying about those quotes. Could someone explain it?

There's nothing romantic about PTSD.

There's nothing romantic about getting your legs blown off.

There's nothing romantic about going to war for an idiot chicken hawk of a president.

There's nothing romantic about being stop-lossed after you've done your duty to country.

There's nothing romantic about this wrong-headed war, or any war.
 
  • #12
Not to mention having one of your buddies getting blown apart beside or in front of you.

Not to mention the innocents (collateral damage to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al).


Bush is a disingenuous and vain coward.
 
  • #13
lisab said:
There's nothing romantic about PTSD.

There's nothing romantic about getting your legs blown off.

There's nothing romantic about going to war for an idiot chicken hawk of a president.

There's nothing romantic about being stop-lossed after you've done your duty to country.

There's nothing romantic about this wrong-headed war, or any war.
Who said there was? Bush certainly didn't.

But why do you think people join the military? It may not be the top reason, but it's up there. Remember, the US has an all volunteer military.
 
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  • #14
russ_watters said:
I'm not quite sure what's horrifying about those quotes. Could someone explain it?
I agree, to quote from the article
President Bush will try to persuade allies at a NATO summit in early April to do more for Afghanistan.

He wants international support to reduce violence, boost the economy and provide social services. "We're obviously analysing ways to help our NATO allies to be able to step up, and step up more," he said.
Sounds ghastly.
 
  • #15
russ_watters said:
I'm not quite sure what's horrifying about those quotes. Could someone explain it?
What's horrifying is that the person who, when he was "slightly younger and not employed here", pulled every one of his daddy's strings to avoid going to the front lines, can now insult the troops who have volunteered to go to Iraq (right to their faces) with the words:

GWB said:
If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.

What nerve!
 
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  • #16
Gokul43201 said:
What nerve!
I'd have to disagree. Although I doubt how eager he'd be to defend his country in actual battle, working with a guy that has served two tours in Iraq and knowing someone that is there right now, they would disagree with the attitude people are taking in this thread.
 
  • #17
Evo said:
I'd have to disagree.
With what?
 
  • #18
Gokul43201 said:
With what?
I disagree that our troops would feel insulted by his speech. If you have articles proving that the troops felt insulted, I'd have to stand corrected.

I tend to dislike the "lynch mob mentality" approach to anything. If you personally have issues with something a politician says, you have a right to feel that way. I think his "Bushisms" are a sad reflection on him personally and professionally. And is anyone surprised that a politician would stretch the truth? But I still am able to read and comprehend. I'm surprised that no one commented on what the rest of the article was about.
 
  • #19
We have a cousin who during his forth tour in Iraq had to clean up the mess left when they blew away a bunch of civilians. He was real gun-ho until then, but now he's all screwed up.

I have a customer whose kid ran to Iraq when Bush waived the flag, He came back as an alcoholic who can't hold down a job.

I'm so envious. How glorious it must be.
 
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  • #20
Evo said:
I disagree that our troops would feel insulted by his speech. If you have articles proving that the troops felt insulted, I'd have to stand corrected.
Since I never made such a claim, I don't see why I should prove it. What I did say was that the President's words were an insult to the troops. Whether or not they perceived the insult is not something I speculated about.

I tend to dislike the "lynch mob mentality" approach to anything.
Are you telling me I have a "lynch mob mentality"?

If you personally have issues with something a politician says, you have a right to feel that way.
So you see no hypocrisy in his words? It's perfectly fine for him to say that he would happily go to the front line if he was younger, when we all know that he did the exact opposite? And if we feel disgust at someone that would be so callous and dishonest, we are exhibiting a lynch mob mentality?

I'm surprised that no one commented on what the rest of the article was about.
I haven't read the article. Russ asked a specific question about a quote, and I answered that question.
 
  • #21
Gokul43201 said:
Are you talking to me here, when you speak of a "lynch mob mentality"?
I'm talking to everyone here. I find that people are so eager to bash people that they let other issues completely slide. I'm really tired of the bashing, it's just too "over the top" for me. I dislike Rachael Ray, I think she's a complete hack, but I can give her credit when I hear something positive about her, which I did earlier today (something I would never have thought possible).

So you see no hypocrisy in his words?
Of course I do and I said "I doubt how eager he'd be to defend his country in actual battle".

I haven't read the article. Russ asked a specific question about a quote, and I answered that question.
Since you were quoting from the article, I naturally assumed you would have read it in order to know if what was posted was accurate or taken out of context.
 
  • #22
Evo said:
Since you were quoting from the article, I naturally assumed you would have read it in order to know if what was posted was accurate or taken out of context.
I wasn't quoting from the article. I was quoting from Ivan's post. Russ asked specifically about the quotes in Ivan's post, and I was answering his question.
 
  • #23
Evo said:
article said:
President Bush will try to persuade allies at a NATO summit in early April to do more for Afghanistan.

He wants international support to reduce violence, boost the economy and provide social services. "We're obviously analysing ways to help our NATO allies to be able to step up, and step up more," he said.
I agree, to quote from the article Sounds ghastly.
Um - no one questioned that. There is no mob mentality here - simply a common expression of incredulity at the braggadocio expressed by the president.

Veterans, particularly combat veterans, I know would take exception to the president's statement.

The rest of the article is not very informative.


I do agree that the rest of the world does need to step into places like Afghanistan - but US policy has made that very difficult. Don't forget that during the Taliban regime, the principal US ally, the Northern Alliance, was responsible for the majority of opium production. The US did nothing to stop it!

This is rather dated - but still pretty much reflects the situation today
http://www.refugeesinternational.org/content/country/detail/2911/
Humanitarian Situation
Decades of war, drought, insecurity, and lack of funding combine to create a precarious humanitarian situation for the people of Afghanistan. After the Taliban fell from power, the international community pledged $4.5 billion to rebuild Afghanistan. Many have criticized the international community for not following through on its promises and not providing the security and assistance required to rebuild the country.
I'll see if I can get an update from these folks.

One big problem in Afganistan has been the lack of iodine in the diet, as well as various other deficiencies. The UN and other agencies are providing iodized salt to the population.
http://www.unicef.org/media/media_26054.html

See also - http://www.theirc.org/where/asia_afghanistan_programs.html
 
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  • #24
Evo said:
I'm talking to everyone here. I find that people are so eager to bash people that they let other issues completely slide. I'm really tired of the bashing, it's just too "over the top" for me.

Bush's comments were over the top. Are you saying that we're not entitled to our opinions?

What doesn't seem to get across to some people is that the outrage against Bush is genuine. It's not political anymore; it's personal. Bush went far beyond politics long ago. When I say that he should be tried for war crimes, I mean it. When I call him a traitor, I mean that too. And when I say that he is an enemy of the United States because of his transgressions against the Constitution, I mean every word of it. In fact that is how the Constitution defines the enemy. This is not bashing, this is sincerity and patriotism.
 
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  • #25
Astronuc said:
Um - no one questioned that. There is no mob mentality here - simply a common expression of incredulity at the braggadocio expressed by the president.

Veterans, particularly combat veterans, I know would take exception to the president's statement.

The rest of the article is not very informative.

Well... I'm a non-combat vet. So my perceptions of Bush are a bit skewed.

But anyways, I've been saying for about the last 5 years, that all the people who voted for him, should sign up and volunteer to enter the military. We would have to remove all age restrictions of course. Give them all guns. Run over and defend what we are fighting for. Might reduce our Medicare costs over the next few decades...
 
  • #26
Astronuc said:
Um - no one questioned that. There is no mob mentality here - simply a common expression of incredulity at the braggadocio expressed by the president.
I just see people jumping to "Bush bashing".

Veterans, particularly combat veterans, I know would take exception to the president's statement.
But that's not his audience. His audience would relate to the things he said, even if they don't necessarily believe he'd personally really do it. Like any politician, he's catered his speech to his audience.

The rest of the article is not very informative.
None of the article was informative, but the more interesting part is what his address to NATO means for the US. Does this mean we are going to try to reduce our involvement by encouraging more involvement from other countries? Does it mean we're going to commit to more involvement in order to encourage more participation from other countries? Doesn't seem that anyone cares.
 
  • #27
Ivan Seeking said:
Bush's comments were over the top. Are you saying that we're not entitled to our opinions?
I already said everyone was entitled to an opinion.

What doesn't seem to get across to some people is that the outrage against Bush is genuine. It's not political anymore; it's personal. Bush went far beyond politics long ago. When I say that he should be tried for war crimes, I mean it. When I call him a traitor, I mean that too. This is not bashing, this is sincerity.
And if you can keep that in perspective and still see the issues, that's great, but I see people blinded to the point that the issues are lost. I'm not defending Bush, I'm saying that this type of thinking, which to me, seems like lynch mob thinking, (for lack of a better comparison) is not productive, and is rather tiresome. Seriously, if I had asked anyone what the President was planning, as stated in the article, could anyone have answered?
 
  • #28
Evo said:
None of the article was informative, but the more interesting part is what his address to NATO means for the US. Does this mean we are going to try to reduce our involvement by encouraging more involvement from other countries? Does it mean we're going to commit to more involvement in order to encourage more participation from other countries? Doesn't seem that anyone cares.
I care very much about what's going on.

I would have been impressed if Bush had thanked the troops, whom he put in harms way, and had honestly stated that he doesn't have the guts to do what they do.

This is the same guy who in 2004 and 2005 told the nation, the troops and their families, that he and his administration was doing all they could to support the troops - which was blatantly false. The troops did not have the proper body armour which was readily available, and they did not have sufficient armour on the vehicles that were sent to Iraq.

Bush botched both Iraq and Afghanistan, and now he wants the rest of the world to help clean up the mess he made.

I don't know any active duty service folks who will openly criticize their C-in-C, but it seems many of those who left the service will and do.
 
  • #29
And what else concerns me is that whatever Bush is setting in motion now is going to be inherited by the new President.
 
  • #30
Evo said:
And what else concerns me is that whatever Bush is setting in motion now is going to be inherited by the new President.
We will also suffer the consequences of Bush's foreign policy. I don't think the current administration's policy is correct, and in fact, I think it is unnecessarily harmful to the future security. And I have similar concerns about the three main candidates for the next president.
 
  • #31
Gokul43201 said:
What's horrifying is that the person who, when he was "slightly younger and not employed here", pulled every one of his daddy's strings to avoid going to the front lines, can now insult the troops who have volunteered to go to Iraq (right to their faces) with the words:

What nerve!
I'm still not seeing it. I believe that he has the same 'i wish i could be a hero' personality component that a large fraction of males have. His past doesn't make him a hypocrite or mean he's insulting him, it just means he's a coward. Which puts him in very good company (most people are).

He's not saying anything hypocritical because he neither said that he would nor that he could do it.
Astronuc said:
I would have been impressed if Bush had thanked the troops, whom he put in harms way, and had honestly stated that he doesn't have the guts to do what they do.
As would I, but for a President to admit to being a coward would be irresponsible and wrong.
 
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  • #32
Ivan Seeking said:
We have a cousin who during his forth tour in Iraq had to clean up the mess left when they blew away a bunch of civilians. He was real gun-ho until then, but now he's all screwed up.

I have a customer whose kid ran to Iraq when Bush waived the flag, He came back as an alcoholic who can't hold down a job.

I'm so envious. How glorious it must be.
So what's your point? What you imply here is that Bush is naive and idealistic, not that he's insulting the troops.
 
  • #33
Gokul43201 said:
Since I never made such a claim, I don't see why I should prove it. What I did say was that the President's words were an insult to the troops. Whether or not they perceived the insult is not something I speculated about.
If they were neither intended nor taken (by the intended audience) as an insult, then how can they be an insult?
 
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  • #34
Astronuc said:
Um - no one questioned that. There is no mob mentality here - simply a common expression of incredulity at the braggadocio expressed by the president.

Veterans, particularly combat veterans, I know would take exception to the president's statement.
But Bush is not a combat veteran and he isn't claiming to be. He's talking as an idealistic outsider. And by the way, trying to remind people why they joined the military in the first place is an extremely common way to attempt to improve both morale and recruiting. This source of motivation is the best one for soldiers to have.

I was on a warship on 9/11. I considered (briefly) requesting a transfer to a ship that would be deployed to the ME. I know exactly what feelings Bush is trying to evoke in those troops, because I've had them too.
 
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  • #35
Ivan Seeking said:
Bush's comments were over the top. Are you saying that we're not entitled to our opinions?
No, I'm saying that your opinions are knee-jerk reactions that don't match what was actually said or why.
What doesn't seem to get across to some people is that the outrage against Bush is genuine. It's not political anymore; it's personal.
Yes, I understand that. That's why, entitled as you are to those opinions, you are wrong. These opinions are not rational, they are knee-jerk reactions that don't fit with what was said or why it was said. What you got out of the speech isn't what was actually said.
 
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