Friday, October 20, 2006

GW: Too Texan?

Is "43," "W," or POTUS much too stereotypically Texan? If you're conservative, you have to admire that he started his presidential quest at the Cold War Winner's library vis-a-vis his dad's: he told the U.S. that he had a vision and that he would return to the kind, gentle America (not with the grating "er" suffixes that impugned RR). (Yes, I know, his "compassionate conservative" line may have been a more subtle slur but I would prefer to think that he was referring to Goldwater, an abrasive whilom conservative.) Bush has cut taxes, taken on terrorism, and returned God to the national discourse. Of course, he has also co-written the "no child left behind" education bill with Teddy; has further increased the scope of Big Brother; and has been much too defensive whenever he addresses an audience. His defensiveness is most strange: why would a twice-elected Lone Star gov and twice-elected Prez seem to expect his listeners to be negative and/or disagreeable? He needs to take lessons from the Great Communicator who envisioned his audience to be a six-year-old lad who had just skinned his knee. I.e., he  was compassionate, loving, and nurturing to those he addressed and not defensive, combative, or condescending. President Bush should leave the swagger and snicker in Crawford and walk that second mile with a warm smile and a playful wink.


jharkansas said...

James, good point.  Be careful not to broadbrush Bush.  In person, I've heard that he's very much like Reagan in demeanour, i.e. playful, joking, witty.  His public persona is shaped largely, I think, by the seriousness of the threat that we face.  Therefore, he speaks seriously because he is gravely concerned about the threat of terrorism.  

He's not an actor, he is who he is.  I do think, however, that Bush is at his best when he is himself and not trying to win friends on the other side of the aisle.  We don't need him to be Reagan, we need him to be Bush.

jakeho said...

Joseph, I agree with you: Bush cannot be Reagan. I've heard that he is indeed good one-on-one. However, he's been President for almost six years: he needs to be much more personable and less defensive in his speeches, interviews, and news conferences. Mr. President, embrace your audience: don't unnecessarily alienate them. I.e., be Clinton: but mean it.