Friday, February 20, 2004

Get to know me!

In reading this fantastic account of a blogger’s one-on-one with President Bush, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of deja vu in Rex’s comments:

If George W. Bush could spend 25 minutes chatting with everybody in America like he did with me and five other folks today, he would win any election by a landslide. Despite the formality of the setting, he immediately put us all at ease with grace and hospitality. He was personable and seemed genuinely curious about each of us and our individual pionts of view on the subject we were there to discuss.

Read the whole post for the context. It’s a great post all around.

The deja vu I mentioned is this: I can vividly recall the feeling that after the ’92, ’96, and ’00 elections, when I said: “If only he’d done that while campaigning, he would have won.”

Several months after losing the ’92 election, President Bush did an interview with Katie Couric on the Today Show. He joked, showed a sense of resolve, and demonstrated a remarkable command of a wide variety of subjects. It was breath-taking — not so much because he knew his stuff (say what you will about Bush 41, but he was no dummy), but because the relaxed, confident man you saw on TV was orders of magnitude different than the defensive, out-of-touch one you saw on the campaign trail.

Ditto in ’96. Days after losing (maybe the day after?), Bob Dole went on Letterman. He wasn’t just funny, he was hysterical. (Letterman asked Dole about Clinton’s weight, to which Dole quipped, “I didn’t try to lift him, I just tried to beat him.”) I had the same reaction to Dole’s 180 that I did to Bush’s four years earlier: why didn’t we see this side of him during the campaign?

Then there was Al Gore in 2000. The first sign that Dole might have more to him than the media persona was his remarkably graceful concession speech. He bowed out, took his lumps, and moved on. He was not the image the media had given us, he was a leader. I have no doubt that a few votes would have flipped that night if they’d had the chance.

Which brings me to President Bush (43). Rex’s account of his meeting with the President is touching, in a way that makes you proud to be an American. Readers of this blog know I’m no fan of President Bush’s policies, but I do admire his leadership. This account just reinforces my belief that he has a good instinct for the one-on-one — a side of him that we almost never see. I’ll bet we see a lot more of these in the months to come. (What are the odds we’ll get lucky and another blogger will be invited?!)

(Extra credit to anyone who can provide the reference for the title of the post.)


  1. And don't forget Al Gore's appearance on SNL!

  2. Jon Lovitz did that line on SNL.....

  3. Is it Steve Gelder:
    Get To Know Me!

    Britney Spears:
    All Britney Spears Lyrics - What It's Like To Be Me
    ... me up Take your time or you loose This is my game, my rules And I can see, obviously,
    Baby You don't know What It's like to be me Baby, Get to know me Then you ... lyrics-what-its-like-to-be-me.html

    Or, maybe Blue:
    Blue - I Wanna Know lyrics
    ... do it all tonight (that's right) No disrespect to you lady (no, no) But your walkie
    talk is like crazy You should take the time to get to know me (what, what ... E0F8DC28D8F8C03D48256DC8000E9D64

    Why does one have to go to your main page (rather than, say, your permalink through Detod)to leave a Comment?

  4. First of all I want to extend my gratitude here that Rick Klaw brings up a 'fair' and 'interesting' topic. Quite a bit of difference given the recent Howard Dean (Hate Bush) Carnivals.

    Secondly... No matter how down on my luck I am.. There is absolutely no way I will ever take part in any 'government' 'socialist' program. I'm not going to take part in welfare. I am not going to have anything to do with any 'woman' that has ever delt with the stuff.

    I don't want to be associated with anyone that partakes in these government programs. It is my hope that people will see the 'genius' in my quest to prove to America that no one, no matter how bad it looks, needs a government handout.

  5. Ok Jeff,
    How far will you go. Not have the police protect your home? Not have the fire department put out a fire at your house? No pell grants? Will not attend any college besides those few that take no federal money?

    As for not having anything to do with any woman who has taken part in these programs.. How do you bring that up on a date?

  6. After all efforts to rehabilitate these guys coming back from Iraq missing limbs or the side of their head would you agree to give them money to live the rest of thier lives. If they signed up for the Army to defend you do we owe them?.