Archive for February, 2008

Wah! Pay Attention to Me!

Boy, Dubya must really hate all the excitement that Barack Obama has generated.  Barack is adored and generates a level of excitement that Dubya could only dream of.  Being the petulant, narcissist that he is, this really pisses Dubya off.  He desperately needs to be the most important guy in the room, and boy does he hate it when somebody is stealing the limelight.

Consider the following two exchanges, both of which happened while Dubya was traveling in Africa:

First, from CNN:

Jennifer Loven of the Associated Press asked Bush a question about his AIDS relief plan and then turned to Kikwete to note the excitement in Africa about Obama’s candidacy and asked the African leader to comment on “what you think it says about America that we might elect a black President with roots in Africa?”

Even though that part of the question was not directed at him, Bush weighed in first with mock exasperation that everyone seemed to be forgetting he was treated like a rock star on the trip. “It seemed like there was a lot of excitement for me, wait a minute,” the President said to laughter. “Maybe you missed it.”

Next, during a round table interview:

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, we’ll do a round robin here. Yes, Ann, you’re the senior person.

Q One of the things that we heard from people, I guess they do consider the United States a democracy, a role model — what if an American — African American were elected President? Did they talk to you —

THE PRESIDENT: That never came up.

Q It never came up?

MRS. BUSH: It never came up to us, at all. They said they were very fascinated with the election — one group that I talked to.

THE PRESIDENT: I’d just like to remind you what Kikwete said. He said, “I hope the next President is as good as this one.” Now, I’m not blowing my own horn — (laughter) — and I’m sure it was a screaming headline. (Laughter.)

Notice how Laura tried to dodge the question, but Dubya didn’t bother spending much time with that and just went straight to the “me me me” tantrum.

In the same interview, Dubya also went on to insist that no one in Africa is really talking about Obama and that the only reason someone there might mention his name is if they were directly asked a question about him:

THE PRESIDENT: No, but it never came up. It seemed like a good story line at the time — somebody must be putting something out there in the pool, and everybody starts chatting about it.

Q People would mention it to us.

THE PRESIDENT: If you asked them, yes. “What do you think about Obama?” Yes, they mentioned it to you all right; yes. (Laughter.)

Q I asked them — I went out on the street and two of the four people I asked about — you know, I’d say, Obama —

THE PRESIDENT: What?

Q McCain. They like — they volunteered, two of them —

THE PRESIDENT: Really?

MRS. BUSH: What country?

Q Dar es Salaam.

I really like the part where Laura jumps in at the end to try to catch the reporter in a “gotcha” moment.  “Oh yeah?  Well what imaginary African country has people that care about Barack?”  (BTW, according to Wikipedia, Dar es Salaam “is the largest city in Tanzania. With a population estimated around 2,500,000, it is also the country’s richest city and a regionally important economic centre.”)

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One of the most interesting points anyone has made in this campaign was made by someone who asked this question in tonight’s Democratic debate:

“I’m 38 and I’ve never had an election where one of the choices hasn’t been either a Bush or a Clinton.  How is it change if those two families keep appearing on the ballot.” 

There hasn’t been an election without a Bush or a Clinton on the ballot since 1984.  Eighty fucking four.  Of the eight presidential elections that have occurred in my lifetime so far, the last five have had one of these two privileged families involved.  In fact, a Bush or a Clinton has won in each of these elections.  (Of course, in ’92 that was a given since it was Bush v. Clinton; one of them had to win.)

Don’t get me wrong: I voted for Bill Clinton, and I’m proud of it.  He was a terrific president.  But it’s a little hard to accept the notion that we’re a truly democratic nation when it seems that two rival, elite families have been running the country for over two decades.

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