Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dubya's No Dummy

Reading, via Glenn Reynolds, this portion of a Times of London interview with President Bush, I too, was struck because it reminded me of my brief brush with George W. Bush:
In person Mr Bush is so far removed from the caricature of the dim, war-mongering Texas cowboy of global popular repute that it shakes one’s faith in the reliability of the modern media.
Back in the 2000 campaign, then-governor Bush came to southwestern Missouri for a rally. As a political reporter for the student paper, I was dispatched to cover the event since as a weekly we had decided to package Bush's appearance with an article about a Joe Lieberman appearance a few days earlier

Not being one of the professional press, I wasn't allowed in to the media gallery earlier so I decided I was going to have to push the crowd and ask a question after the stump speech ended. I did so (in the process almost getting arrested because the Secret Service didn't like my palmtop computer) but finally I got to the front and shouted out that I was from a student paper and was wondering why young people should vote for him.

He didn't answer immediately, instead, he gave me a combination of a onceover and a stare like I imagine he must have given Vladimir Putin the first time they met. Finally, deciding I wasn't some sort of hippy student reporter, he said something about Social Security not being there unless it was changed.

From then on, I knew Bush was no dummy, regardless of his other flaws.

Why is it that some of the same people who correctly know not to prejudge people based on racial stereotypes can't refrain from doing so based on political ones?