Every modern president has had his share of bloopers and flubs.
Reagan uttered, “We start bombing in five minutes,” into an open microphone he thought was off. He was referring to the then Soviet Union.
And who can forget Bill Clinton’s, “It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”
Everybody makes flubs now and then. It’s embarrassing, but we know when we’ve done it and usually acknowledge it.
But Pres. George W. Bush is so inarticulate and clueless that coherent speech on his part is actually quite rare. I’ve read quotes by him in news stories that seemed to be thoughtful and even eloquent. But then when I see a video clip on the TV news of the same quote at the same event, he sounds hesitant and goofy, mispronouncing words and speaking with tentativeness.
He sounds his best only after editors have cleaned up his speech.
Of course, lacking an ability to speak eloquently does not necessarily translate into sheer stupidity. Bush is a Harvard graduate, even in spite of his less-than-stellar grade point average and his obvious connections. But his past business failures coupled with his seeming lack of understanding of reality make me believe that his poor speaking ability is connected to a below average intellect, at least by presidential standards.
Another thing that leads me to believe his bubble is slightly off plumb is his intransigence. He is a very stubborn man, even when he is proven wrong. Rather than admit his mistakes he tries to rationalize them.
One can never predict how history will remember a president, but it very well could turn out that “W” will be remembered as one of America’s lamest and least effective presidents. He would certainly get my vote.
Consider some of his stupidest remarks made in public:
“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004
And who could forget this gem: “There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.” —Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002
And, apparently, he believes he’s the pope: “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.” —July 9, 2004
During Bush’s reelection campaign, he accused his opponent of flip-flopping on various issues. But would Bush ever flip flop? No way!
Or would he?
Here’s what he said on Sept. 13, 2001: “The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him. But a few months later, he said, “I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority.” —Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002
Those are just a few of the many dozens of Bushisms that have been uttered publicly by our president. It’s comical, except that it’s very serious, seeing as he is the president and all.
But at least his convictions are strong, as he so aptly stated when in Rome in 2001, “I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe — I believe what I believe is right."