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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bush Being Bush and Sheriff Romney's Back in Town

Yesterday at the G8 summit, President Bush used an expletive to describe the ongoing violence in the Middle East. The media reaction to this has been akin to that of third graders when the teacher lets slip a frustrated curse under her breathe. The president’s language should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially people who make a living regurgitating what the man has to say.
Many of the major news outlets have been using the same short AP story to report the more sensational portion of the news. ‘What an idiot this guy is, he left the mic on and swore during a world summit,’ many must think. Why is America, and by extension, the Press, so shocked when Bush’s humanity leaks through his otherwise unfathomable persona? Johnson was the most foulmouthed president since the invention of voice recording, but I don’t recall reading about any giggle-fests breaking out in the newsrooms of America when LBJ used all manner of horrid speech to describe friends and enemies alike.
That AP article quotes Bush as saying “See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive)," with the deleted expletive clearly being the word “shit,” (oh my stars!) as heard on the fine video CNN has provided. There is a stunning lack of context for that quote. Who is “they,”? Israel? Lebanon? This uproar is over a quote that leaves out the very subject of the sentence in question. Don’t leave the modifier hanging like that, Associated Press, you know better.
The incident should be welcome verification to doubters of the president’s involvement and interest in his job. He showed personal frustration during a candid moment, not indifference or ignorance. Bush’s “cowboy” image is an extension of his genuine personality, a personality that includes a Texas-drawled profanity once in awhile. It’s perfectly expectable that he’d use that type of language in conversation with Tony Blair, a man he’s been friends and allies with for years now. In the fall of 2000, Bush called New York Times reporter Adam Clymer as “major league asshole,” in a candid remark to Dick Cheney. This is how the man communicates when he’s thinking on his own, not a sign of immaturity or ignorance. If anything, it’s a sign of Texas.
To see Bush giving a shit to the point of using the word “shit,” is impressive in and of itself. Blair didn’t respond to the comment by politely nodding and asking if he could talk to Dick on the secret puppeteer earpiece now, he responded as one Head of Government does to another. We should all rest a little easier knowing that the president has the ability to speak for our country at these types of summits without his handlers and shadowy shock troops feeding him lines. Or maybe we should be very upset that Cheney and Rove let him fly solo like this.
Blair is the one that should be worried about how he looks in the footage, not Bush. Tony Blair has been labeled a Bush crony since the Iraq invasion and his pandering responses to W’s irritation don’t help his case. He volunteered to go to Syria to lay the groundwork for Condi Rice’s upcoming visit. Why is the Prime Minister of The UK playing second fiddle to the US Secretary of State?

The Governor’s Back, and he’s packing charts!
For the first time in months, Governor and presumed presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been all over the local media for something other than not being in Massachusetts. Taking a page out of the Perrot playbook, he’s been on most every front page and 5pm newscast telling us, with helpful visual aids, all about how he’s going to figure out this Big Dig Tunnel mess. Mitt’s got drawings of bolts and ceiling panels, a bright national spotlight and a magic marker he is certainly not afraid to use to prove to all Americans (especially those in Iowa, New Hampshire and undecideds in Ohio) how he’s going to fix the tunnels, clean up the bureaucratic mess of the Commonwealth’s biggest tax sinkhole and make Boston safe for everyone.
Today’s Globe shows Romney up to his eyeballs in public outrage and loving every minute of it. He’s more or less taken over NECN for the past week, guiding the press through every nook and cranny of the tunnel problem with a Jerry Lewis-like stamina for television endurance.
Before Romney blew into town with his crisis-management guns a'blarin', Attorney General Tom Riley captured the headlines with his prompt announcement of an investigation into the matter. It would have been interesting to see Riley and Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healy go toe-to-toe in dealing with the fallout of the big dig, but Mitt and his fantastic hair (which only gets more fantastic after a good dry-erase board workout) have stolen that opportunity away from us.

Also: Shut up, Mike

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