In my capacity as head talking rat, I try to make at least one poignant observation every week. Normally I’m successful at this, but this week I made an observation that’s not so poignant although I feel I must rant about it here in keeping with my responsibilities as el Ratonissimo (hey that has a nice ring to it – and that’s Senor Ratonissimo to you).
As it may come as a shock to many of you, I voted for George W. Bush and have supported him since he announced his candidacy in 1999. I’m wondering why then, after nearly three years in office and a multitude of opportunities to work out his “presentation deficiency,” President Bush still has trouble getting out a coherent sentence that isn’t written down for him. Certainly, his dad flubbed his words sometimes too, but with George W, it seems to be his default position. As a Republican it’s painful to listen to him speak off the cuff. This became evident during a recent interview conducted by Brit Hume of Fox News Channel. The President seemed to be disoriented and had to search for simple words. The worst of it was when he was describing his pride at the “braveness” of our military. A moment later, he corrected himself and said “bravery.” Progress?
Thomas Jefferson despite his eloquence with the pen was afflicted with a slight speech impediment that made him self-conscious enough that he always submitted the state of the union address in writing rather than give an address before Congress. According to historian Richard Hofstadter, Jefferson was a terrible public speaker. “Not once did he deliver an exciting speech.” He was also abnormally shy. This shyness doesn’t seem to afflict President Bush any more than he is afflicted by the greatness of someone like Jefferson. So what is up with his predilection for ineloquence? Answer – ego.
Men at that level tend to have huge egos. Thus, as I’m sure he is well aware of this tragic flaw in his elocution, his ego forces him to render it unto us despite knowing this. Therefore I am appealing to presidential advisor Karl Rove to take his longtime friend aside and say, “Look, George, I’m your friend so take this as the comment of a friend. You sound like an idiot.” The sad part is, he very clearly is not.
Scott Wacholtz is a senior majoring in political science and is the Secretary of the UM College Republicans. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org provided you use proper grammar.