America Needs a President to Act Like Churchill, Not a Comedian Like Robin Williams!
At the annual Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner the President is often featured as a lighthearted after-dinner speaker. At this year's dinner on March 24, 2004, President Bush playfully provided mock captions to a series of photographs taken in and around the White House. The President's “White House Election Year Album” included pokes at himself, his presumed Democratic opponent, Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and Vice President Richard Cheney. In one series of photos, the President in awkward positions in the Oval Office was moving furniture and on his knees behind draperies had the following accompanied comments, “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere,” “Nope, no weapons over there!” and “Maybe under here?”
Generally laughing along with the President's presentation was a crowd of about 1,500 politicians, journalists and celebrities.
The President's actions were defended by White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan when she said, “There is no question about the seriousness about which the President approaches this issue.” The President ended his speech on a serious note with a “very moving tribute to the men and women of the military in which he expressed appreciation for their keeping our nation safe,” she added.
The serious tribute given on behalf of the American military by President Bush was nullified when he made such an inappropriate and obnoxious display of himself regarding a very serious issue as the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Brave soldiers that have voluntarily enlisted to serve this nation to fight in the war on terrorism die almost daily in Iraq. The military's efforts to bring security to Iraq and its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction should not be taken lightly or presented in a foolhardy manner. And though the President may have not meant it, such actions do convey an attitude of disrespect for their efforts, as well as bring doubts to the minds of Americans of the validity for going to war.
When putting together this presentation the President should have reflected to the past and thought to himself how would President Franklin D. Roosevelt or Winston Churchill address such an audience during World War II. There is no doubt that they would have avoided sensitive issues and displayed leadership and statesmanship qualities, instead of college sorority antics.
There is no doubt for the President to be successful in the November election he must present and articulate his vision for the continued economic recovery of this nation as well as the war against terrorism. The President had nothing to gain and everything to lose by the actions he displayed at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner. Unfortunately, the President gave the perception as well as the credence to the Democrats' mantra that the war in Iraq was unnecessary thus hurting his creditability as Commander-in-Chief. If the President continues to listen to political advisers that give such ill-advised counsel in the future, there is no doubt that in January, Senator John Kerry will be taking the oath for the President of the United States instead of President Bush.
- Farhi, Paul. “Democrats Call Bush's Comedy Skit Tasteless ” The Washington Post. [cited 26 March 26, 2004].
- James, Frank. “Bush criticized for gags about weapons search.” Chicago Tribune. [cited 26 March 26, 2004].
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