Bush's bullhorn speech
September 14, 2001 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Bush's bullhorn speech The most genuine public show of emotion I think I've seen from the president. There has been a lot of criticism of his cue-card reading, but to me this was a refreshing change!
posted by smt (32 comments total)
The firefighters were yelling out that they couldn't hear him, he replied something along the lines of "Don't worry, the people who did this will be hearing from me loud and clear."
posted by riffola at 2:22 PM on September 14, 2001

"I hear you. And the people who knocked down these buildings will hear from all of us soon."

Absolutely. Much respect.
posted by holgate at 2:23 PM on September 14, 2001

I agree that it was a refreshing display of sentiment from dubya
posted by wsfinkel at 2:31 PM on September 14, 2001

Did you see him almost cry yesterday while talking to reporters in the Oval Office after the tele-conference with Guilliani and Pataki? I was moved. He did not bite his lip either... :-)
posted by internal at 2:33 PM on September 14, 2001

He's sorta got that Harrelson Ford look going now.. like "I'm gonna get medieval on your ass"
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 2:55 PM on September 14, 2001

Doh they changed the picture now
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 2:55 PM on September 14, 2001

Oops.. that should be "Harrison" :P
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 2:57 PM on September 14, 2001

This was a comment in our (Dutch) newspaper tonight:

I am a loving guy

Because I'm not an American and therefore do not have to stand by president Bush, I will use this opportunity to make a few less respectful remarks. Something's wrong with the guy. We have seen him in these bizarre times somewhat more often - though very shortly - and everytime I get the feeling that I'm not looking at a man, but to a talking puppet led by unstable hands through the media-puppettheater.
Nothing he does or says seems to stem from any spontaneous emotions. Every move and word has been thought up by others - and not the most talented others. Those others stand, with sweaty palms, in the sidelines watching. They have pushed him on stage with great effort. George would rather stay home, in his attic room, playing with his little oilpumps, and oillights, while mother brings him milk and cookies. But he can't. Sometimes the telephone rings and one of his friends says he really should come out and play - otherwise they'd forget him.
And Bush is pushed out by his father, with great reluctance. His eyes blink in the light - a bunny in the headlights. If only he could remain invisible. But people want to hear his opinions and want him to act. What opinions and actions? By God, he doesn't know. Help me, his eyes cry, here I stand and I do not know what to do. Every public appearance turns into a powerless cramp.
If he has to speak, he is gripped by a blind panic to make a mistake. Before every word he says he thinks: now I'm gonna mess it up. He keeps his eyes transfixed upon the autocue. He plows himself through the text. Every word spoken right, is like a rock falling from his shoulders. He doesn't dare think about the ending, because around every sentence danger lurks. Or will he reach the end safely this time?
No. There he goes again. Shit. He mixes up two words, stress the wrong syllable, mispronounces a difficult word. At these moments his advisors remember why they cancelled the weekly White House press conferences.
He should show more emotions, some commentators thought. His advisors agree: America is weeping, let the president weep too. They instructed him carefully. Finally he should hold a short press conference. He would be asked for his feelings. That was the perfect opportunity.
The questions were there and Bush looked genuinely moved. And then he said: "I am loving guy." And that ruined it all. Who asked for this self-absorbed characterisation? It sounded as false as the legendary quote from one of his predecessors, Richard Nixon:"I am not a crook."
posted by knutmo at 3:06 PM on September 14, 2001

Best public performance I've ever seen him give. U-S-A U-S-A, indeed.
posted by jpoulos at 3:07 PM on September 14, 2001

That Dutch newspaper will be eating its words after today's excellent display by the President.
posted by dagny at 3:21 PM on September 14, 2001

Bush is fine as long as he keeps it short and simple.

When he tries to get fancy he looks like a moron because he doesn't have the depth to make it work.

Oh , I'm sorry, is that bashing...?

Far be from me to make the moron who keeps referring
to be as a "Bush basher" cry again.

Grow some skin already, dittohead.

That Dutch newspaper will be eating its words after today's excellent display by the President.

This is indicative of how many around the world view Bush.

I know, you don't want to hear about that.

But, he is.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 3:32 PM on September 14, 2001


Brilliant writing. Brilliant. You nailed it exactly - the automaton posing as a President.

Be heartened that there are plenty of us here in the US who are not fooled by this hollow shell of a leader.
posted by mapalm at 3:34 PM on September 14, 2001

end italics from barney
posted by mapalm at 3:35 PM on September 14, 2001

I did not write this, but merely translated a piece by Frits Abrahams, a daily commentator in the Dutch conservative newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
posted by knutmo at 3:38 PM on September 14, 2001

Another day and another Bush hatefest on mefi. What a surprise.
posted by Real9 at 3:52 PM on September 14, 2001

Actually, I wasn't too shocked at all.
posted by j.edwards at 4:00 PM on September 14, 2001

Up to today, dubya showed me no leadership skills, but his bullhorn speech was a breakthrough. I give him credit for his strong and genuine presence today.
posted by neuroshred at 4:27 PM on September 14, 2001

What Bush needs at the moment is to be a figurehead for the US - 9/10 americans are 100% behind him and now he really pretty much is america's representative to the world..

Bush my lack charisma, maybe intelligence (in comparison to someone like Clinton for example), but given the current situation, thats not a bad thing - he can make nice speeches like this, and his entire team of advisors can decide on sensible policies for him in this crisis, rather than one man taking the lead and potentially doing something rash..

btw, do ppl think he could have refused to go to Nebraska and said he wanted to stay in Washington to rally the ppl directly after the attack? I'm unsure on this one..
posted by Mossy at 4:42 PM on September 14, 2001

I said it when Bush was being slammed, so I'll say it here when he's being praised:

I'm far from impressed with arguments that posit telegenic and rhetorical skills = leadership and intelligence and ability to perform the office of President.

An excerpt of Postman hints at his theory as to why so many might think this way.
posted by marknau at 4:54 PM on September 14, 2001

an A+. once he gets away from his handlers and his teleprompters he is actually able to speak like a human being instead of a robot. i was very moved at the end when somone handed him a flag and he waved it defiantly.

there will be plenty of time in the future to criticize bush and his actions, but right now i'm going to focus on how much stonger i feel after seeing that speech.
posted by saralovering at 5:36 PM on September 14, 2001

My thoughts on today's major network news coverage: How come only religious people can hope to comprehend this tragedy?

It seems that everywhere you look -- the services are about God taking away our suffering and all that other 'quaint' stuff.

What is a good atheist to do?

I'm serious. I don't mean to demean the event, the emotions, or any religion.

But what if you've got none?
posted by zpousman at 5:36 PM on September 14, 2001


Bush has done an AWESOME job!
posted by BlitzK at 5:38 PM on September 14, 2001

two bold tags!?!?!

posted by dogmatic at 5:55 PM on September 14, 2001

I wasn't referring the presentation as much as the fact that it seemed to be unscripted and sincere
(the sentance before the one you quoted illustrates that, i think. "...genuine..."). Sorry if I wasn't clear about that.

Aside from that, I think "bush did/didn't move *me*" posts do not need to be censored.. people have reactions to public figures, and if they want to discuss them here, why not?

And yeah, just close it as if it was in your own post with a /B
posted by smt at 6:15 PM on September 14, 2001

Count me in with the "leadership is not showmanship" crowd. I've said it before (and I'll say it again and again), if you want to feel better, talk to your priest, or your therapist, or your spouse, or your mother. That's just not the president's job.

I want a president who will, above all else, make sure this never happens again. I don't care if he ins't charismatic. Churchill had a lisp and was a bleeding aristocrat to boot. And he was fat.
posted by terceiro at 6:35 PM on September 14, 2001

Maybe it's just me, but as I replay the bullhorn speech in my head, I have Bush referring to "the people who knocked these buildings down" as "motherf***ers," instead. But I still think it's pretty damn stirring as it actually happened.
posted by dopamine at 6:36 PM on September 14, 2001

It was all those firefighters yelling with him, getting him fired up. They should bring a couple of firefighters along with him from now on. Bush's Official Pep Squad. Glad they were there. This may be an unfortunate analogy, but there's the old war movie/disaster flick convention (successfully spoofed in a movie with Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, et. al.) of the captain or pilot or whatnot who isn't very skilled at the wheel, being alternately cheered and encouraged or given a swift kick in the pants by the crew. They aren't thrilled that he's there under the circumstances, but don't by any means dismiss him. I've been feeling that way with GW. As in, You may not not be the best president. *But by God you're the only president we've got.*
posted by raysmj at 7:07 PM on September 14, 2001

Bush is in the fire, and if he doesn't collapse in the heat, he may well be tempered into a President. If he can rise to this occasion, he'll have earned my respect.
posted by kindall at 7:45 PM on September 14, 2001

"I'm far from impressed with arguments that posit telegenic and rhetorical skills = leadership and intelligence and ability to perform the office of President."

That stuff is not difficult to master. The concern, and I think it's a valid one, is if after so many years in politics, he can't handle simple tasks like that, what other, more important ones also present him insurmountable problems?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:49 PM on September 14, 2001

Yes, another thread full of bush-hating ... wait, no, it isn't! If you actually read the posts, you find a majority of support, even from those who've criticized him in the past. I'm one of those: I considered his early speeches wooden, repetitive, and generally merely adequate, a point acknowledged even by members of his party, while noting that when he got out of the stuffed suit and talked to the regular folks at the Pentagon disaster site, he did just fine. In those situations he can connect.

marknau, I do not look for entertainment or amusement in my political leaders. I do, however, expect them to be able to communicate with other grown adults about the details of policies they are implementing or asking us to support, answering general questions without constantly falling back on a 3x5 card policy summary. It's unfortunate that Bush isn't an eloquent speaker in formal situations. It's downright worrisome that he doesn't even seem to know what it is he's supposedly planning or what kinds of things he might be saying or asking of foreign leaders or what he understands of the bar at which the American people might be forced to sacrifice comforts or freedoms in order to achieve personal safety. The man is perfectly free of my enmity, but the job he occupies is never free of my concern.
posted by dhartung at 10:23 PM on September 14, 2001

An athiest is to do whatever an athiest wants to do to grieve his or her losses.

That's kind of the whole point.
posted by Satapher at 10:44 PM on September 14, 2001

< cheerleader post >
Better said than my attempt, dhartung. Thanks
< /cheerleader post >

I justify cheerleading in light of all the f**k you posts of late. Trying to tip the balance back to level, consciously.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:58 PM on September 14, 2001

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