Tag Archives: Bush

“A C-Change in Presidential Rhetoric”

Ruth Levine of the Center for Global Development (a fabulous organization, for anyone who cares about development issues) offers her take on President Obama’s recent speech in Ghana, and the reasoning he offers for  U.S. support for public health in Africa and beyond: America will support these efforts through a comprehensive, global health strategy, because […]

Obama’s Unspoken Praise for NCLB

President Obama delivered a solid speech on education yesterday, trying to create a bit of space between him and the teachers’ unions, challenging students not to be slackers and drop-outs, and talking up parental responsibility. He introduced a new phrase to the Obama lexicon: “cradle to career,” to describe his vision of pre-school through post-secondary education. […]

A Missed Opportunity on Stem Cells

President Obama’s remarks on stem cell policy today were disappointing. Not because of the policy change – that was expected – but because the president missed an opportunity to have a serious discussion about the issue, instead opting for tired, dogmatic attacks. Serious people understand that many Americans appreciate the enormous healing potential of stem […]

Watcha Readin’?

On Friday I noticed that President Obama used a teleprompter when delivering his remarks on the economy in the East Room. I thought it was unusual because the East Room is a pretty intimate venue. I usually associate the teleprompter with bigger crowds and bigger spaces. I can’t think of a time when President Bush […]


According to Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff, the Obama administration is searching for a phrase to replace the “War on Terror.” Good luck. This, of course, is the classic bureaucratic backwards approach to communications, in which people desperately search for just the right word or phrase to communicate a policy they can’t explain or an objective they […]

Editing the “War on Terror”

The AP recently examined President Obama’s efforts to shift away from the phrase “War on Terror”: Since taking office less than two weeks ago, President Barack Obama has talked broadly of the “enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism.” Another time it was an “ongoing struggle.” He has pledged to “go after” extremists and “win this […]

Actually, He Didn’t Say That

I don’t want to be nitpicky, but I think it’s important to set the record straight on an issue that frequently gets misremembered, including in Thomas Daly’s post earlier this morning. I’ve written before about how “Mission Accomplished” became a message nightmare for the Bush Administration. But it’s important to note that “Mission Accomplished” was […]

No More “Great Moments”

Mike Allen’s Politico Playbook alerts us to this AP article about the end of David Letterman’s “Great Moments in Presidential Speeches.” In case you’ve missed it, the bit contrasts clips of grand historical presidential rhetoric (“The only thing we have to fear…”; “Ask not…”) with clips from current presidential speeches in which George Bush is […]

Promises Endure

I was fortunate to be able to attend a White House reception this evening, hosted by President and Mrs. Bush to thank the people who worked in their Administration over the last eight years. The very idea is silly, of course: The president doesn’t owe us any thanks at all; it’s very much the opposite. […]

No More Buicks

I hate to dwell too much on visuals and symbolism, but the pictures coming out of Wednesday’s lunch with President-elect Obama and Presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Carter were pretty cool. To understand how cool, just picture John McCain standing there instead of Barack Obama. Wednesday afternoon bridge club? Meeting of Buick owners? Yes and […]

The Future of Favreau

Eli Saslow’s Washington Post profile of Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter, 27 year-old Jon Favreau, lays the groundwork for Favreau’s DC media persona. Young? Check. Guitar hero, text messaging, Red Bull, rumpled and unshaven, mildly inappropriate partying. Successful? Check. Quick on his feet, trusted by the president-elect, associated with the best speeches of the last year. […]