Thursday, October 14, 2004

Why did Bush do such a bad job in the debates?

There are several answers to this question, but there are definitely a few to focus on. One has got to be his dislike of intellectualism. Bragging to Yale graduates who had a mountain of debt in the spring 2001 commencement address that he didn't take his school work seriously is a good example of this. Also bragging about not reading the newspaper on Fox News is another. There seems to be genuine hatred of learning and reading there. I've heard all sorts of theories about why, up to and including ADD and illiteracy, but I don't think we;ll ever know for certain. Point is, he didn't do his homework. Last night he seemed to a better job, but he spent a large part of his time just throwing out pre-prepared attacks that didn't fit. The only studying he did was to emorize a few lines and few new stats. Two, he can't take criticism. I think it comes from a lack of confidence myself. His faux-cowboy demeamor screams of someone who wishes they were John Wayne but know they're not. This bit from a recent New Yorker article says it best:

In the early days of his Presidential campaign, Bush was introduced by his new circle of policy advisers to a Washington institution called a “murder board,” in which a politician’s aides fire hostile questions at him as a method of preparing for the rigors of public appearances. Bush resisted, and had to be talked into it. He prefers to assemble a group of friendly people from the conservative movement, who are profoundly grateful for being granted time in his presence, and to free-associate about the issues of the day—tuning up the instrument, as it were—while they listen.
That is definitely not a man who is willing to actually debate someone. BTW, it is a really good article, I think you should read it. Last, he does not look good. I don't want to go too metrosexual here, but he definitely doesn't understand that old, scrawny guys like him don't do the cowboy thing well. And the smirking and the drooling on live TV, can't be reassuring. Kerry, on the other hand, looks like a president should look. He looks like the guy you want sitting in the Oval Office talking to a foreign leader. He even kind of dwarfs Bush, since he's 6-4. He just kind of towers over people and gives the impression of strength and superiority.

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