Monday, September 01, 2008


In his New York Times Magazine cover story yesterday on the end of the Bush presidency, Peter Baker mentioned one sign that Bush is mellowing as his term ends:

With time winding down, advisers say Bush has turned surprisingly wistful. The president has thrown aside the meticulous schedule to halt his motorcade during several recent out-of-town trips -- to chat with children who had set up a lemonade stand outside a North Carolina fund-raiser....

Oh, give me a break. This is at least the fourth time Bush has "spontaneously" stopped to hang out with lemonade-selling kids -- and always, curiously enough, in election years.

July 7, 2004:

RALEIGH, N.C. -- President George W. Bush made an unscheduled stop Wednesday on his way back to the airport after attending a fundraiser in Raleigh.

A lemonade stand and two little girls brought the motorcade to a halt.

It was a perfect photo opportunity for Bush -- stopping to buy lemonade on a sizzling summer afternoon and giving two young entrepreneurs a day they never will forget....

July 7, 2006:

Last week in Ohio, after an unusual day of diplomacy that featured Bush and the Japanese prime minister touring Elvis Presley's Graceland in Tennessee, the president's motorcade pulled over at a lemonade stand across the street from a Republican fundraiser where he helped bring in $1.3 million. Bush distributed plastic cups full of the drink prepared by excited, giggling children to the startled reporters traveling with him.

July 27, 2006:

The president's motorcade came to a halt when Bush stopped to buy some lemonade from a South Hills girl on his way out of town.

Charleston [West Virginia] attorney John Miesner's 8-year-old daughter, Mary Melinda, set up a lemonade stand at their home on Bedford Road, but moved it Jim and Jean Miller's property on Loudon Heights Road after the Secret Service asked them to move it.

Little did they know that the president would drop in for a cold drink. Miesner introduced himself to presidential adviser Karl Rove while the president spoke with his daughter and her friends.

Bush told the kids he liked their marketing campaign, which included signs that read "God bless W" and "Lemonade for the President, 50 cents." ...

Why are reporters at our top news organizations so easily fooled by this transparently phony stagecraft? Why do the people whose skepticism we need the most seem to be the most gullible people on the planet?

No wonder John McCain thinks he can get away with the pick of Sarah "Golly Gee, I Just Can't Seem to Stop Mentioning Colorful, Folksy Details About Myself Every Time I Open My Mouth Around a Reporter" Palin.

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