Tag Archives: George W. Bush

Newsflash: Presidents Work on Vacation

If there’s one storyline about President Bush I’ve never had any patience for, it’s the idea that he was on an endless holiday during his time in office. Reporters loved to bandy about the number of days the president spent at his ranch in Crawford or at Camp David. The “vacations” fed the notion that […]

Obama’s Afghanistan Speech: The Good and the Ugly

Despite pronouncing the word “Taliban” as if he were a calypso singer, President Obama sounded and looked strong and confident in his Afghanistan-themed address last night. The optics were right, as the president was joined by row upon row of sharply dressed officers-in-waiting. The pace of the speech was good – the president not getting […]

Future UN Secretary General Jabs Bush … Again

Ten months into his own term as US president, Barack Obama continues to conjure the ghost of George W. Bush to help define himself in international circles. Of course, it’s not really the ghost of George W. Bush. It’s the ghost of the caricature of George W. Bush. Kicking off his Asian trip with remarks […]

Another Crappy George Bush Speech

Former president George W. Bush deployed his down-to-earth charm and humor to wow a crowd gathered for a speech in Fort Worth the other day. According to the Washington Post, “Bush did not appear to have an overarching theme, but strung anecdotes and jokes together and frequently mentioned his faith in God.” No overarching theme? […]

The Essence of Truth

The Wall Street Journal news pages are following up on a contention made in an op-ed the newspaper ran, namely that President Obama was a little loose with the facts in his big health care speech. In an article headlined “Obama Used Faulty Anecdote in Speech to Congress,” reporter Jonathan Weisman writes: President Barack Obama, […]

The Speechwriter as Gossipmonger

As I mentioned last week, Matt Latimer, a former Bush Administration speechwriter, has written a book. Given his recent Washington Post op-ed, in which he hyperventilated about firing presidential speechwriters and took a crack at Karl Rove, I assumed the book’s thesis would annoy me. Turns out I was right. An excerpt appears in October’s […]

Fighting Terror with Humor

More on White House speechwriting in September 2001. Though the period was obviously full of tension and concern, there were several lighthearted moments, too. For instance, at one meeting – it might have been on September 12th – when the speech staff was spit-balling ideas for the president’s sure-to-come address to the nation, one of […]

Bringing Sexy Back

The last several posts on Robert Reich and Sarah Palin brought to mind one thought: sex appeal. But before anyone protests the direction of our family-friendly blog, it turns out www.whitehouse.gov is working blue, too. Speaking with Energy Secy Steven Chu about “new efficiency standards on fluorescent and incandescent lighting” in the federal government, President Obama […]

Missing: Obama Eloquence on Iran

President Obama has been reserved in his comments about the situation unfolding in Iran, and politicians and commentators across the political spectrum are urging him to say more. The president’s low-volume strategy is undergirded by two assumptions: first, that public support from the US president will feed the Iranian regime’s efforts to pin the protests […]

George W. Bush Keeping Writers Employed

Former president Bush (sigh) in the news again today, as an announcement was made about his upcoming book, tentatively called Decision Points. The memoir will not be a chronological history of Bush’s life and experiences in the Oval Office. Rather, it will highlight significant decisions he made personally and politically. According to the publisher’s press release: […]

Calgary, Take Me Away

Former president George W. Bush (still gets me choked up) gave his first post-White House speech yesterday, regaling invited guests in Alberta (the Texas of Canada) with stories about being president, about not being president, and about all the big topics you would expect in a GWB speech (Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, oil). Protestors, of course, made an […]

Feehery Bashes Bush Bashing

Lately, Republicans have been united in opposition to two public figures: Barack Obama and George Bush. While conservatives have tripped all over themselves to praise Rush Limbaugh’s leadership and vision, they wasted no time distancing themselves from the man who may turn out to be the most conservative president elected in this century. Bush was barely mentioned at the recent CPAC […]

Where Were the Memorable Phrases?

At the risk of talking ancient history, I want to return to Tuesday’s inaugural address and dispute a criticism of it, or more accurately, dispute the criticism’s relevance in assessing the speech’s quality —the criticism that it included no memorable phrases. Can you think of any memorable phrase coming from President Obama in his two […]

Best for Last?

George W. Bush’s address from the East Room of the White House Thursday evening was among his best. To a degree almost unseen before, he was relaxed, calm, and comfortable at the podium. He looked like a man about to be relieved of a great burden – not the burden of making decisions (he seems to […]

So Long, Farewell

President Bush is preparing to deliver his farewell address tonight and, boy, what a difference eight years makes. As the energy in the capital builds in preparation for Barack Obama’s inaugural address on Tuesday, the current president is becoming an afterthought. He’ll begin right at 8 and should be finished in time for all of […]