Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Keeping It Real Politik: Uniquely American

Drudge Report reported the following exchange between President Bush and Mary Mornin, an "ordinary citizen," during an "unscripted moment":

Last Friday when promoting social security reform with 'regular' citizens in Omaha, Nebraska, President Bush walked into an awkward unscripted moment in which he stated that carrying three jobs at a time is 'uniquely American.'

While talking with audience participants, the president met Mary Mornin, a woman in her late fifties who told the president she was a divorced mother of three, including a 'mentally challenged' son.

The President comforted Mornin on the security of social security stating that 'the promises made will be kept by the government.'

But without prompting Mornin began to elaborate on her life circumstances.

Begin transcript:

MS. MORNIN: That's good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

This is a light moment that, unfortunately, is really not so light. It highlights a President who is "folksy" but obviously isn't really in touch with real folk. It highlights a President who seems to think that working three jobs is some kind of showcase of character and, by extension, a good thing.

American. Uniquely American.

Not a lot of talk about how to transform people's lives to make them less... unique?


The Sore Loser said...

I'm amazed that this woman got past the screeners. I wonder if she signed the loyalty oath. Perhaps she actually voted for Bush! Some of these people must have.

Eric Berlin said...

It's amazing how quickly Bush dives off the deep end the minute he's confronted with an unscripted moment.

But what's really amazing is that I recently put together a cogent argument about why Bush is "lights out smart." Take aside every position the guy has, and it's truly bizarre that he is a world-class politician -- shrewd and cunning -- yet he can be so clearly out of his depth when not utterly prepped.

Al said...

Personally, I don't know if working three jobs is "uniquely American." I'm glad to claim that we have a hard working country, but lots of people in the world work hard to make ends meet.

I don't see what the controversy is. Are you simply cheesed that the president didn't don sackcloth and ashes in repentence at the suffering of someone who's struggling to make ends meet?

And YES, working three jobs would tend to be a strong sign of positive character traits. How could you disagree with that?

Eric Berlin said...


Yeah, I'm cheesed off with the President, though I'm not ready to blow up the cheese factory or anything.

Of course I applaud the hard work and taking care of a special needs child. Of course hard work and getting ahead are great and are part of what make America great.

But laughing and shrugging your shoulders at a difficult-at-best life-and-death struggle to keep the lights on and provide care to your afflicted child at worst life-situation is -- in a President -- not generally cool in my opinion.

How 'bout suggesting something that would make it better like... real health care reform?

Thus with the gentle poking fun and such.