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Friday, September 03, 2004

If he's supposed to be "Daddy" can someone please make me an orphan?

For me, this is all the more funny because I've a VERY good memory and I remember the night of October 15th 1992 very well. That was the night of the second presidential debate between then-President George Bush, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton and billionaire character Ross Perot (who I gladly campaigned and voted for that year... the things you do when you're eighteen and drunk with newfound voting power). It was also the night that Dad and I got back from Asheboro with a cocker spaniel puppy for my sister's birthday, but anyhoo...

This particular debate, coming from Richmond, Virginia, was a rare informal "town hall" format moderated by Carole Simpson. For ninety minutes all three candidates were hit with questions from an audience of supposedly uncommitted voters. It was a pretty good show but by far the thing that made me groan the hardest was this one guy, this long-haired guy who I'm pretty sure said he worked with kids, and he implored the three candidates to "think of us as your children."

Of the three candidates that night, one of them would have certainly told him to grow up and start his own business like any self-respecting billionaire and another would have probably agreed with what the first candidate said. Only one of them not only readily agreed with the man but alluded that government should be almost an inescapable father figure looking over us.

Guess which one of the three won the election that year?

But that was something that came from a member of the debate audience: it was NOT something that the Clinton campaign initiated on its own. And it's not like the George W. Bush campaign would say something that heavily socialist on its own, right?


From the September 2nd 2004 Boston Globe...

Card says president sees America as a child needing a parent

By Sarah Schweitzer, Globe Staff | September 2, 2004

NEW YORK -- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said yesterday that President Bush views America as a ''10-year-old child" in need of the sort of protection provided by a parent.

Card's remark, criticized later by Democrat John F. Kerry's campaign as ''condescending," came in a speech to Republican delegates from Maine and Massachusetts that was threaded with references to Bush's role as protector of the country. Republicans have sounded that theme repeatedly at the GOP convention as they discuss the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq.

''It struck me as I was speaking to people in Bangor, Maine, that this president sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child," Card said. ''I know as a parent I would sacrifice all for my children."

The comment underscored an argument put forth some by political pundits, such as MSNBC talk-show host Chris Matthews, that the Republican Party has cast itself as the ''daddy party."

A Kerry spokesman, seizing on Card's characterization of Bush as a parental figure for the nation, contended that the president had failed.


''The Democrats who met in Boston had a wonderful party, because Boston hosted a wonderful opportunity for them to get together," said Card, a former state representative from Holbrook. ''But they tended to talk about yesterday, and our president knows that leadership is all about tomorrow."

Card, the person who informed the president nearly three years ago about the attack on the second World Trade Center tower, also sought to cast Bush as a decisive leader who chose to remain seated in a Florida classroom after hearing the news in order to avoid creating fear.

''The president accepted my words but did not introduce fear to any of those young students or through the national media to the American people," Card said. ''After an appropriate period of time, he excused himself from the classroom . . . and exercised the ultimate responsibility of a president."

He added, ''But there is no doubt about the president's commitment to make sure that he protects us no matter what the polls may say, no matter what focus groups might suggest, no matter what the UN gave permission to."


There ya have it from Bush's press secretary: the President of the United States sees us as children. And he's the father. Exactly as Bill Clinton saw himself twelve years ago.

I'm not a drinking man but if this is the way America is supposed to be, I'll gladly toast the occassion when I become an orphan.