Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Salon's Alex Koppelman reminds us that Bush is still a narcissistic little brat:

Bush, reluctant to give up the spotlight, endorses McCain

In a press conference in the White House Rose Garden Wednesday, President George W. Bush was supposed to pass the baton, after a fashion, to presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain. But instead Bush looked very much like a man not quite ready to give up that baton and its attendant spotlight; on more than one occasion, he interrupted McCain, who could only stand and look awkward.

...Things broke down a bit when it came time for questions from the press, as an animated Bush barely let McCain get a word in edgewise.

That was especially true for the last question of the press conference, when one reporter asked Bush where his campaigning on McCain's behalf might be most helpful to the Republican nominee. Bush made a few brief remarks, and McCain tried to answer the question, but Bush interrupted and went off on a rant, gesticulating enthusiastically as McCain stood off to the side.... McCain broke in, saying, "Could I say, one state springs to mind? Texas," and then Bush jumped right back in. At the end of a couple of more responses, as McCain appeared to be pausing, Bush abruptly brought the press conference to an end....

You can see that on video here. Bill Clinton was once chided by an AP reporter for using the word "I" 94 times in a 10-minute speech on behalf of his wife, but in this video the utterly manic Bush uses the word "I" seven times in the first 18 seconds. Do the math -- that's more than double Bill Clinton's "I" pace.

Bush really, really doesn't like ceding the spotlight -- his lawyers stole it for him fair and square after the 2000 election and it's his now, dammit. Although the circumstances are different, I'm reminded of this moment in 2003, when Bush was asked about another high-profile member of his own party:

...[Bush] is also not accustomed to taking second billing, as was evident on Wednesday, when a reporter made the mistake of referring to the California [gubernatorial] race as ''the biggest political story in the country'' during an otherwise sleepy mini news conference focused on the economy.

''It is the biggest political story in the country?'' the president retorted, irritated. ''That's interesting. That says a lot. That speaks volumes.''

''You don't agree?'' the reporter said.

''I don't get to decide the biggest political story,'' Mr. Bush said, grumpily. ''You decide the biggest political story. But I find it interesting that that is the biggest political story in the country, as you just said.''

Another reporter jumped in, ''You don't think it should be?''

The president replied: ''Oh, I think there's maybe other political stories. Isn't there, like, a presidential race coming up?'' ...

This was in August 2003. The presidential election was nearly fifteen months away. But even the temporary celebrity of Arnold was too much for W.

(Salon link via the Carpetbagger Report.)

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