Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bush's 'exit strategy' needs a re-think



Its not looking good for President Bush. Not only can he not get out of Iraq, he's now having problems getting out of press conferences too.

A few days ago, Mr Bush tried to make a hasty exit from a press call which was part of his trip to China. He refused to answer a follow up question asked by one of the journo's and tried to make good his escape by exiting stage left pronto.

He was met by a set of imposing double doors, which despite the full weight of the Presidency being brought to bear, refused to move. Much like Chinese policy on Human Rights really. For a split second, it looked like the President's "third way" thinking was being employed to a problem that generally is solved by either a push or a pull. Rather than haranguing the cornered victim, the press pointed out that the President had, in fact entered the room from behind a curtain.

Mr Bush joked "I was trying to escape. Obviously, it didn't work" He then made a generally more successful attempt at both leaving the room and ducking the question.

As the Presidents 'general awareness' was maybe, unfairly seized upon by the amused onlookers. I was reminded of some other political 'gaffes' which have taken place. You'll be pleased to hear that I've included pictures where possible.

1992: Dan Quayle and the 'Potato Kid'
Remember this? The Vice President was keen to 'correct' William Figueroa's spelling mistakes in front of the press. However, adding an 'e' onto potato turned out to be 'chips' for the big guy. Quayl(e) was Bush senior's VP at the time although both would be replaced by Clinton and Gore. (he does look a bit like Bill Gates though)

John Prescott "appears to throw a punch"
This is the moment when the Deputy Prime Minister to Tony Blair decided that the best way to deal with hecklers was to hit them. Admittedly the guy who was on the end of this political jab (pundits noticed it was 'to the right' of usual policy) had just thrown an egg at Mr Prescott. His PR people must have worked overtime to try to fix this mess. Remarkably, the public sided with Mr Prescott and his approval rating increased after this incident, mind you, I wouldn't like to tell him otherwise would you? It was also great to see how the news channels reported the incident too... Along with those pictures came the caption "Prescott appears to throw punch". Who says the days of investigative journalism are over?

Even the : can't redeem this one!
Its back to Bush I'm afraid! (and not a Segway in sight!). This one isn't really his fault but even one of the harshest punctuation marks available is unable to save the poor President here. I'm not quite sure who actually writes these things but I'm sure that in retrospect, this may have been phrased differently. When this was originally aired on UK TV, its reported that someone added that "The Hurricanes been pretty bad too"

John Gummer's fast food fiasco
Its 1990 and the UK is gripped by the fear of BSE. Mad Cow disease is crippling sales of beef so the Tory government minister decides that the best way to show people how safe it is to eat meat is to publicly 'force feed' his four year old daughter a nice wholesome burger in front of the press. It's fair to say that the results are mixed. No one was quite sure that the beefburgers in question were actually fit for human consumption aside from BSE and the public seemed 'edgy' over the use of children in politicking. Why didn't he just kiss babies like most of them do?

Its back to 'Bush Bashing' I'm afraid for these last two
President George W. Bush has certainly been dragged over the coals as far as the press go. His image has not been entirely wholesome and once the media have it in for you, its difficult to shake the satirical stereotypes. That said, this President has encountered his fair share of bumps and bruises, cuts and calamities, most of which seem to have been captured by photographers or shown on live TV to a global audience. One which enjoyed plenty of airtime was when the President fell off his Segway scooter. In all fairness, I think most Segway riders have done exactly the same The physics is simple really: stop and you fall off.

Bush's mishaps on two wheels has inspired many cartoons and email attachments like this one.



And finally I must leave you with this. It seems that as long has we have politicians who are human (and make mistakes), we'll also always have 'photoshoppers' and bloggers such as myself to, sometimes unfairly pass comment.

1 comment:

Wong Online PoKer Hu said...

I agree. I mean, I'm all for Bush's exit, but he's got to find a funnier way to do it. Those Bush pictures are so hilarious.