Not sure if you caught it two weeks ago, but Prez. Bush was interviewed by NPR's Juan Williams, his first after the State of the Union address. At one point during the talk, Williams brought up the issue of Bush and the "Democrat" congress, and not strongly enough according to some. As The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg noted last summer, Bush's frequent misuse of the noun "Democrat" in place of the adjective "Democratic" as an intentional slur to refuse the association of donkeys and democracy is obnoxious, overly partisan, and even McCarthy-esque. Here is the exchange:
MR. WILLIAMS: By the way, in the speech, you spoke about the Democrats. You said, you congratulated the Democrat majority. And I notice your prepared text said Democratic majority. I surely think that you know that for the Democrats, they think when you say Democrat, it's like fingernails on the blackboard. They don't like it. They like you to say Democratic.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yeah. Well, that was an oversight then. I mean, I'm not trying to needle. Look, I went into the hall saying we can work together and I was very sincere about it. I didn't even know I did it.
You didn't know you did it, huh? See Hertzberg's article for a notation of other misuses, and further see that the White House issued an edited transcript of the speech where "Democrat" is embedded in place of the original "Democratic." If Bush's flub was unintentional, why go to the trouble of changing the history books? I guess because Bush's words are Bush's words, and I don't think he has written a speech since Andover, and even then he probably winged it. To add insult to injury, Bush feigned dumb again 4 days later at the Dems' Colonial Williamsburg retreat when he opened with this line:
"Now, look, my diction isn't all that good," the president said. "I have been accused of occasionally mangling the English language. And so I appreciate you inviting the head of the Republic Party."
Laugh it up, diction boy. I wouldn't mind hearing intentional slights from the likes of political hacks of Tom DeLay's stature, but I expect more knowledge, respect and gravitas from my President. On a lighter note, Bush called Juan Williams by name, "Juan", a full nine times during the sixteen-question interview. If you are keeping score, that is a .563 average. Big time score for the Spanglo-Texan!
The other big news on the campaign trail was Obama's official campaign kickoff at the Olde Statehouse in Springfield, Illinois, the Land of Lincoln. He spoke of a range of topics from his Christian faith and the death penalty to the presumptuousness of a Presidential announcement and Abe Lincoln's glorious leadership, all under the umbrella of Springfield the crossroads. The Springfield of farmers and friends, the Springfield of bold statements, but most importantly the Springfield that is far, far away from Washington. His speech was to demonstrate Obama the Hopeful, Obama the Outsider, Obama the Future. Also, he has taken to say "I love you" a lot. That might not be such a bad thing, if it catches on, and it certainly won't hurt him with the ladies.
Speaking of the ladies, Giuliani's third wife went off recently about how hunky her man is. Judy G. went to bat for Rudy (Judy & Rudy??) in the NY Post:
"I've always liked strong, macho men, and Rudy — I'm not saying this because he's my husband — is one of the smartest people on the planet. What people don't know is that Rudy's a very, very romantic guy. We love watching 'Sleepless in Seattle.' Can you imagine my big testosterone-factor husband doing that?" Describing Rudy, a former federal prosecutor, as "the Energizer Bunny with no rechargeable batteries," Judi said, "One of the most remarkable things about my husband, who sleeps three or four hours a night, is his energy level and stamina."
As Borat might say, "Wa-Wa-Wee-Wa! He has a-stamina, it is nice!!!!"
Mitt the Mormon's better half, meanwhile, got into the wife game with a little pushback of her own. "The biggest difference between Mitt Romney and the other [GOP] candidates," she said, is that Mitt has "only had one wife." Ouch!! Take that, conservative voters, and props to Mitt the man. Romney, of course, will be announcing his candidacy tomorrow in his dad's old state of Michigan, at the Henry Ford Museum much to the ire of Jewish groups everywhere. More to come!
Getting away from politics, I have been lamenting my recent departure from Quabbinish run postings. I can directly attribute this to a rise in training with the Purple Knights and two weekends in a row dominated by late nights and lazy Sundays. Will I regret my failure to go for a moonlit walk in the snow, or stomping an uncharted path through my back woods? Perhaps. But motivation is the wiliest of devils. Wilier even than spirits.