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Old 01-12-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
Undertoad
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Bush suddenly an interesting character again

The only benefit of being unemployed is that I get to be a news hound for a while again. The channels just had Bush's final press conference, and for 50 minutes the guy was more personable than he has been in about 5 years. His press conference performances have been wooden, a little nervous, not real strong on specifics, etc. a poor communicator. But here with all the politics out of the way, he was relaxed. And without it meaning much, the press was relaxed, it was more conversational. He could be candid about mistakes, including the "Mission Accomplished" banner, and some of his rhetoric.

Other things he would not take credit for, such as his reaction to Katrina, and the financial meltdown, which he described as disappointingly having happened on his watch.

Still, it was actually refreshing to see some of the guy's natural charm return, and he seemed bright and alert and a little funny, like he used to be. Totally gracious to Obama. You could see why his voters had a good gut-level feeling about him. The question then becomes why he lost that nature while in office. The sense I get, now, is that he was too overwhelmed to also be charming in any way.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Interesting take on it UT - I wonder what Obama will be like after a few years in the meat grinder.
I saw him again yesterday morning and he really is a captivating speaker.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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Interesting take on it UT - I wonder what Obama will be like after a few years in the meat grinder.
I saw him again yesterday morning and he really is a captivating speaker.
That alone is better than 8 years of someone who could not talk well in front of groups. But he is going to have to do more than talk pretty.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:50 AM   #4
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But, but, but..... butthead
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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He looks like a man who has been let of the hook.

He can go back to Texas and start clearing' some brush. That's a problem that's more on his scale.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:40 PM   #6
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He must have finished off all the brush in Crawford; he's moved on to Preston Hollow.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:35 PM   #7
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Still, it was actually refreshing to see some of the guy's natural charm return, and he seemed bright and alert and a little funny, like he used to be. Totally gracious to Obama. You could see why his voters had a good gut-level feeling about him. The question then becomes why he lost that nature while in office. The sense I get, now, is that he was too overwhelmed to also be charming in any way.
Undertoad, I'm sure you can find a video somewhere on the internet of his 1994 debate against Ann Richards, then governor of Texas (who went to school on a debate scholarship) in which he is quite articulate and on-the-ball.

I've remarked before that either he has some kind of degenerative neurological disease, or that at some point, for political reasons, it was decided that he would be more successful if he pretended to be more like a regular guy--that is to say, dumber.

I heard him this morning on the radio, and he was, you know, likeable.

My dad always liked him, and thought he seemed like a good kind of guy.

I always thought he had a smug bastard face that needed to be punched in.



Regardless of how irrelevant... in politics, people have to "like" you.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:14 AM   #8
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Yah, I've seen pieces of that 1994 debate, and he did seem like a whole different person. I did think that he did lose his skills of the past. As I get older, though, I'm less likely to attribute that to some weird neurological problem as it is just aging. You lose some things, you gain others; you do change styles, because the cocky youngster faces so many humbling experiences.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:32 AM   #9
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Personally, I think he owed his victory to too many strong people. I don't believe he was 'his own' president, so to speak. He was the selected front man for a wider project, and as such was delivering somebody else's agenda. Not unusual in a leading politician really. In these days of focus groups and detailed breakdowns of public reactions to speeches and debates, I suspect that the Bush we've been seeing for the past few years is a version that has been refined through such feedback. He scored well on folksey charm, and people felt better about him when he was just as bemused by the world as they were. After the slickness of the Clintons, it was a breath of fresh air for a lot of people to be led by somebody who seemed like he would enjoy a beer at their local bar.

Maybe they thought, because he seemed to be an ordinary guy, he'd share some of their more pressing ordinary concerns.

Either way, I think they (his advisors, speechwriters, pollsters etc) began to over emphasise that side of him. He was playing a role the last few years. The role was his most ordinary and least impressive self.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:44 PM   #10
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Here's an interesting read, by a friend of Jenna's, about kicking back with the first family at the White House.
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/f...a-and-me200901
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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I often wonder whether he really wanted to be President beyond the idea of the job.

It's like how all little boys want to be astronauts, firemen, or superheros. 99.99% of them wouldn't really want those jobs if they actually had them (which is why most of them don't do the work to get those jobs).
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:43 PM   #12
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Personally, I think he owed his victory to too many strong people. I don't believe he was 'his own' president, so to speak. He was the selected front man for a wider project, and as such was delivering somebody else's agenda. Not unusual in a leading politician really. .
BINGO!

Much the same way I think Obama has been selected.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #13
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Who's he fronting for?
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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I have no idea, its just a feeling I have. At first I felt that he was selected to 1) Be a distraction and then 2) Be a Calming influence on the 'masses' after all the BS of the past and for the BS to come in the future...which some of we are experience now with the recession/depression.

I lost a lot of faith in our 'democratic' institution with the Bush administration, so my outlook is a bit tainted.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:50 PM   #15
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As far as I can tell, the rest of the democratic party owes him bigtime. He's not in debt to many people, 'cept the grassroots. And all they want him to do is get us out of this godawful mess.
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