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Samizdata slogan of the day

The chaps who dismiss Bush as a moron forget that what counts is what a guy does when he’s not talking.
Mark Steyn

10 comments to Samizdata slogan of the day

  • Byron

    I say let them continue to underestimate him. All it does is make Bush more effective and Americans more supportive of him. Funny that Bush’s detractors can’t see that. Who are the real morons here?

  • Even though speaking ability is an oft-judged attribute of politicians, there doesn’t seem to be a tremendous correlation between speaking ability and the ability to get things done, or to do the right thing. For one recent example, Galloway was a heck of a speaker.

  • Bush the Younger is just plain likeable. You don’t have to share his views on anything to like him as a person.

    Part of that is his naturalness, his playfulness, and his willingness to commit the occasional faux pas while the cameras and tape recorders are rolling. But another part is that special manliness that finds things like a jet-plane landing on an aircraft carrier a thrill just too big to pass up, whatever the risks.

    Dubya simply doesn’t have to pander. What he is speaks so loudly that his words almost cease to matter. Considering what those words sometimes are, that’s something of a relief.

    For further thoughts, read this.

  • G Cooper

    Francis W. Poretto writes:

    “Bush the Younger is just plain likeable. You don’t have to share his views on anything to like him as a person.”

    I heard an interesting quote from David Frum the other day. He said that people who don’t know Bush make two mistakes about him. The first is that he is stupid. The second, that he is nice.

    I find that quite believable, personally.

  • “Nice” and “likeable” aren’t the same, GC. It’s not even clear that one could define “nice” well enough for our limited purposes here. But I maintain that President Bush is likeable. You don’t feel that urge, which overcomes so many of us after collisions with the common run of American politicians, to count your silverware after he’s visited your home.

    Clinton, the most recent and best comparison to Dubya, was a “charmer.” That’s not the same as “likeable” either. And Clinton was very not “nice.”

    Another phrase that captures Bush’s special quality is from the era of kings: He has “the common touch.” We commoners are growing ever more sensitive to the sneers and disdain of political elitists, such as the master manipulators of the Left and its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Democratic Party. How ironic that the first president since Coolidge with a real “common touch” should be the eldest scion of a political aristocracy!

  • Chris Josephson

    I have to admit there was a time I couldn’t stand ‘Dubya’. During our last presidential election
    I voted for Gore, because I could barely tolerate him, while I couldn’t tolerate Bush at all.

    Barely tolerate is better than not tolerate at all, was my reason. I feel if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. I’ve turned in blank ballots as a protest, but I always try and vote, especially for president.

    I have to admit though, I’ve grown to like Pres. Bush. Probably has a lot to do with how he acted right after Sept. 11, 2001 and since. I never thought I’d ever come to tolerate him, much less like him.

    I still see his flaws, I think, but they are flaws I can live with. The flaws are mainly external in how he presents himself in public. Although, he’s getting better.

    He isn’t the most dynamic speaker we’ve had as president. He seems uncomfortable when giving some speeches and at impromptu press conferences. I’ve heard various reasons for this ranging from shyness to some sort of learning/reading disorder. I don’t know and don’t care really what the cause is.

    What I value most in any leader is that he/she does what they say they will do and is honest. I don’t even have to agree with what they’ve said, because my political views are so wide-ranging *no* leader could agree with me 100%.

    I think there is more identification with Bush now, among many people, *because* he is flawed and not perfect. He can come across as ‘just folks’, with no pretenses.

    People, like me, seem willing to overlook his imperfections because they are imperfections that don’t matter as much any more.

    Bush has proven himself to be a capable leader. Not 100% perfect, but someone I’m comfortable with as president. Someone who I can take at his word.

    It’s great to have a leader who is charismatic and a great speaker. But if they aren’t honest and lie, who cares about the great speeches and charisma? The speeches could contain lies, while the charisma could make you more likely to believe them. Who needs that?

    BTW: I do think Bush is much smarter than he is given credit for.

  • Liberrty Belle

    Chris Josephson – You don’t think Bush is charismatic? Are you mad? Did you see him get out of that plane? Did you watch him play poker with the UN? No offense, but I think you are wearing your secret charisma-shield spy-ring.

  • G Cooper

    Francis W. Poretto writes:

    “”Nice” and “likeable” aren’t the same, GC. It’s not even clear that one could define “nice” well enough for our limited purposes here. But I maintain that President Bush is likeable.”

    In the end it’s really down to personal taste. Personally, I don’t think I find Bush likeable at all (nor do I think it matters in my estimation of him as a US President, a role I think he is fulfilling with great ability).

    Donald Rumsfeld, on the other hand, now he strikes me as likeable. But you’re right. Possibly, not very nice, either.

  • Chris Josephson

    LIberty Belle:

    you said

    “You don’t think Bush is charismatic? Are you mad? Did you see him get out of that plane?”

    Yes. I did see him get off that plane and walk among the crew. (I say the following in the kindest way) What I saw was someone like you or I who had just had an exciting flight and landing. I did not see the ‘macho Top Gun’ type of guy.

    The grin he had on his face as he left that plane was genuine. He seemed very happy to be among the troops on that ship. He did not impress me as some big ‘hot shot’ pilot-type.

    As I saw him mingle with the crew, I saw someone who was genuinely glad to greet the troops and convey his thanks. I cringed when my newscaster kept referring to the ‘photo ops’. For some reason, Pres. Bush’s awkwardness didn’t seem to fit the ‘photo op’ charge my newscaster was claiming.

    I did not see a politician. I saw someone who was a bit awkward posing with the troops for some snaps to send home. He was there because he thought it would give those troops a lift to have the president thank them. I didn’t see the suave, cool, composed politician.

    I saw a fellow American, who just happens to be our president, greeting returning troops. This is *not* a negative for me.

    Bush, to me, looked awkward at times on the flight deck (pre-speech). But he impressed me as someone who was sincere in his desire to honor our troops.

    you said:

    “Did you watch him play poker with the UN? No offense, but I think you are wearing your secret charisma-shield spy-ring.”

    Just because I think Bush may be lacking in the charisma department, doesn’t mean I look at him as entirely devoid of rising greatly when the occasion demands. It’s just that he’s not consistent about it.

    Pres. Bush is a very smart man. He’s a magnificent ‘poker player’ and I was never prouder of him, as my president, then when he was ‘playing poker’ with the UN.

    Another time, in recent memory, when I was very proud was when he visited ‘ground zero’ and gave the impromptu speech with the megaphone. (“.. these people who did this will be hearing from us soon…”) He was natural, relaxed and said just what we needed to hear.

    I don’t hold Pres. Bush’s ‘flaws’ against him. On the contrary, it makes him seem more genuine to me. I can identify with him via his flaws.

    Perhaps it’s because I grew tired, during our last administration, of the smooth, suave charismatic politician. I enjoy the ‘cowboy’ who isn’t as smooth, suave, or charismatic. But, the ‘cowboy’ is very smart and ‘plays poker’ with the best of them.

    I’m glad we have him as president, flaws and all, because of what we are going through.

  • Liberty Belle

    Chris Josephson, I would not argue with a word you wrote in your last post. I would only add that I find Mr Bush charismatic for the very reasons you write of above. He had just had the ride of his life, he was proud to be amongst the troops. It is his very lack of falseness and affectation while holding the most powerful position in the world that are charismatic. Confidence is a charismatic quality. I don’t think the words “suave, cool, composed politician” define charisma. Think of two words: Jacques Chirac.