Monday, December 01, 2008

In other words, I didn’t anticipate war

Obama has announced his national security team (of rivals), and he has an adjective he’d like you to remember about them: “I assembled this team because I am a strong believer in strong personalities and strong opinions.”

Tonight, ABC will air the interview Charlie Gibson conducted with George and Laura Bush last week.

WE’RE IN: “the American people got to know that we will safeguard the [financial] system. I mean, we’re in. And if we need to be in more, we will.”

FAITH AND CONFIDENT: “I’ve got faith that the economy will recover. As a matter of fact, I’m confident it will recover.”

WHAT THE QUESTION IS: “And the question is, is it worth it to save the system, to safeguard the system? And I came to the conclusion, along with other smart people, that it is.” Other smart people? OTHER smart people??!!

DURING I ARRIVED IN PRESIDENT: asked if he feels responsible for the financial meltdown: “You know, I’m the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President.”

PRESENT COMPANY EXCEPTED: Asked how high unemployment will go: “Too high. I mean, anybody unemployed is too much.”

MOVIN’ BIG: “And on the other hand, though, when you’re the President and somebody says, we better move big, Mr. President, otherwise we could have a depression greater than the Great -- we’re moving big.”

IN OTHER WORDS: What the presidency has been like: “Some days we’re not so happy, some days happy. Every day has been pretty joyous, though -- that when you have a purpose in life, that no matter what it may look like from afar, that we’re a highly motivated group of people that are honored to serve. In other words, I think people look at the White House and say, oh, man, what a miserable experience it is to be President.”

Later, he clarified the joyous thing: “I don’t want people to misconstrue. It’s not -- I don’t feel joyful when somebody loses their life, nor do I feel joyful from somebody loses a job. That concerns me.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “And the President ends up carrying a lot of people’s grief in his soul during a presidency. One of the things about the presidency is you deal with a lot of tragedy -- whether it be hurricanes, or tornadoes, or fires, or death -- and you spend time being the Comforter-in-Chief. But the idea of being able to serve a nation you love is -- has been joyful. In other words, my spirits have never been down. I have been sad, but the spirits are up.” Well that just makes the hurricanes and tornadoes and fires and death all worth while.

A VERY SPECIAL DOUBLE REVERSE IN OTHER WORDS: “Well, I think I was unprepared for war. In other words, I didn’t campaign and say, ‘Please vote for me, I’ll be able to handle an attack.’ In other words, I didn’t anticipate war.”

Did McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin help or hurt him? “I think it helped John. It energized the party. It -- I can remember when she first was named, young women in our office were saying, isn’t it great that a woman is in a position to serve on the ticket now, to maybe be Vice President of the United States.” I know it sounds like he’s completely forgotten about Geraldine Ferraro but, to be fair, for most of 1984 he was really really drunk.

IN OTHER WORDS: “I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy. In other words, they made a conscious choice to put him in as president.”

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD: “I think one of the big disappointments of the presidency has been the fact that the tone in Washington got worse, not better.”

Asked what the country thinks of George now, Laura said, “I think they think he’s somebody that kept them safe for eight years.”

WHAT GEORGE’S BIGGEST REGRET IS: “the biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn’t just people in my administration; a lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence. And, you know, that’s not a do-over, but I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess. ... That is a do-over that I can’t do.”

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Asked, what is your “Greatest accomplishment? The one thing you’re proudest of?” BUSH: “I keep recognizing we’re in a war against ideological thugs and keeping America safe.”

Greatest disappointment? BUSH: “Well, I mentioned one, and that is no weapons of mass destruction.” So disappointing.

WHEREIN GEORGE BUSH SAYS SOMETHING I TOTALLY AND UNRESERVEDLY AGREE WITH: “I’d like to live life without the limelight for a while. I don’t -- I think it’s going to be real important for me to get off the stage.”

IN OTHER WORDS: “Steve Hadley and I were sitting around... I said, wouldn’t it be interesting for baby boomers not to retire in nice places, but to retire -- during their retirement, go help people deal with malaria or AIDS. In other words -- and I’m not suggesting that’s what I’m going to do, but it is the kind of thing that intrigues me.” Oh God, don’t they have enough to deal with, with the malaria or AIDS?

BUBBLE BABBLE: “Oh, I don’t know. I mean, you’re going to have to be in a bubble during this here because the enemy would like to do nothing more than do you in. So, I mean, that’s a necessary part of the job. You know, yes -- I mean, believe me you understand what’s going on in the world. This idea about how the president doesn’t understand this, that, or the other, just simply is not the case. I mean, there’s a lot of information that comes through the White House.”

THE COMFORTER-IN-CHIEF IS ALWAYS THE COMFORTED PERSON: “Well, I’ll miss being Commander-in-Chief. ... And I’ll miss -- and it’s going to sound strange to you -- I’ll miss meeting with the families whose son or daughter have fallen in combat, because the meetings I’ve had with the families are so inspirational.” So it’s all been worth while, as long as their deaths are so inspirational for you, because it’s all about you, you callous fucking egomaniac. “They -- I mean, obviously, there’s a lot of sadness, and we cry, and we hug, and we occasionally laugh. And we share -- I listen to stories. But the Comforter-in-Chief is always the comforted person. Believe it or not, I’ll miss going to the hospitals as the Commander-in-Chief, and looking a kid in the eye, and have him say, heal me up, Mr. President, I want to go back in.” Believe it... or not. Actually, I can believe it, you... did I already call you a callous fucking egomaniac?

Laura says she talked to Michelle Obama about closets but not about the job of First Lady: “she didn’t ask for any advice like that, and I didn’t give her any.” But if Michelle had asked, what advice would Laura have given her? Answers in comments, please.

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