Belated observations from the Bush press conference

Not the Tony Blair one, the primetime one. It took me this long to wrap my head around the horrible thing. I thought I was going to have an aneurysm trying to listen to the president talk.

1. This was the third primetime news conference in Bush’s entire term. I think we all know why.

2. Apparently, we have two secretaries of state, Powell and Rumsfeld, according to the president.

3. This administration seems to have some sort of deal worked out in which major media players are guaranteed the spotlight if their questions are given in advance so Bush’s people can cook up answers. The initial six or so questions from big media were answered with clearly orchestrated responses that came off like a bad highschool play portraying a press conference. It wasn’t softball, it was tee-ball. Walter Cronkite later said he’s shocked at how staged Bush’s conferences are, and that he’d never seen anything like it. There was only one follow-up question. And in one answer, the president even said that he couldn’t come up with a good response because he didn’t have the question in advance…

4. There were two fastballs. He wiffed on both and wasn’t challenged. Why must Bush appear before the 911 commission with Cheney? So they can answer questions. Huh. What has been your administration’s biggest mistake? (Stammering, stuttering, sweating) I can’t think of anything on the spot. Huh. He’s a complete puppet.

5. The president doesn’t know how to talk.

6. Bush made one indisputable, factual statement: “We’re changing the world.” And how.

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