Web pages linked here all describe George W. Bush as uncurious, even
if they don't use that exact word.
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Daily Kos :: Comments What Really Scares Me About Bush
by saint on Tue Dec 21st, 2004 at 08:50:09 PST
That he is wholly without curiosity about the world around him. That he is wholly disinterested in reading word one of anything that passes his desk. That he is so wrapped in his own pride and arrogance that he cannot be confronted with opposition.
Daily Kos :: Comments Be Honest: Why do you hate Bush?
by lawstudent922 on Fri Dec 10th, 2004 at 10:16:59 PST
I think his problem is he's not intellectually curious. Most people who are very successful in their career (any career) are successful because they are always striving to learn new things, techniques, asking questions of other people doing research. Their curiosity can't be quenched. That is the type of person you need as president.
The reason he isn't curious is his biggest downfall. This reason is that he thinks he already knows everything. The only information he can tolerate is info that reaffirms his own world view.
Not just politics as usual
Los Angeles Times
December 5, 2004
By Nicholas Goldberg, Nicholas Goldberg is Op-Ed editor of The Times.
Ron Suskind's "The Price of Loyalty" (Simon & Schuster: 348 pp., $26) remains with you not so much for any particularly damning revelations as for its disturbing portrait, based mostly on the recollections of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, of a president who is isolated, doesn't read, lives in an echo chamber and is utterly without curiosity.
TCS: Tech Central Station - Loyalty, Shmoyalty
By Michael M. Rosen
Mr. Rosen admires Bush's leadership and disagrees with the pundits he describes here.
Thus, the "empty suit" strain has become the "simple-minded" reduction: Bush may have a sense of the course he wants to chart but that direction is dangerous and the product of a small mind incapable of appreciating nuance. Despite this morphing, and in the face of copious evidence to the contrary, the underlying message remains: the president is an incurious, wrong-headed boor.
Ottawa - canada.com network
The Ottawa Citizen
Shame on them
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Mr. Bush does sometimes seem incurious about the world outside his borders.
TomDispatch - Tomgram: Johnson on Creating a Worthless Intelligence Agency
November 23, 2004
Also appears on antiwar.com Nov. 24, 2004, as A Worthless Intelligence Agency - by Chalmers Johnson and Tom Engelhardt. Long article with many footnotes.
Imagine our uncurious George and his Vice President as feudal lords who have called their retainers to their side. Their men are now filling the moat and pulling up the drawbridge. (No more embarrassing kiss-and-tell memoirs like those from term one!) In essence, what's now being created inside the Beltway is the equivalent of what was created for the President on the campaign trail -- those adoring rallies, that moving campaign bubble, lacking the slightest challenge from reality. In a sense, what's now being put in place is a full-scale fantasy regime, armed to the teeth. Inside the castle (or the bubble, if you prefer) reality will be -- for a while at least -- what the President and Vice President decide it is.
In his second term, the President intends to preside over one big, blended Family of Texas yes-folks, hawkish or neocon fundamentalists, Congressional fundamentalists, and fundamentalist fundamentalists. . .
In the meantime, the rest of Washington is being brought into line by various other Bush "friends." In particular, former Congressional hack Porter Goss, made head of the CIA in the run-up to the election, is directing a White House purge of the Agency and ensuring that, in term two, fantasy will reign supreme when it comes to the sort of intelligence the President and his cronies might care to hear,. . .
JuneauEmpire.com: Opinion: Alaska editorial: Delegation needs to convey urgency of Arctic warming 11/23/04
Alaskans need their Republican congressional delegation to talk sense to their colleague in the White House. The famously incurious president has no idea what global warming is doing to Alaska. The Arctic is a long way from Crawford, Texas.
New C.I.A. Chief Tells Workers to Back Administration Policies | Mac Forums
Undated; refers to a New York Times article of Nov. 17, 2004; first observed by uncuriousgeorge.org on Nov. 23, 2004.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 - Porter J. Goss, the new intelligence chief, has told Central Intelligence Agency employees that their job is to "support the administration and its policies in our work,'' a copy of an internal memorandum shows. . . .
this is what we get under the bush regime (yes, i'm tired of saying administration). whence curiosity, open debate, compromise and room for changing opinion? this is what will kill this country.
more than anything else lately, i've been dividing people into the curious and non-curious. and i'm finding that everyone i hang out with, like and respect fall into the "curious" category.
bush can't even be bothered to read a newspaper. what a joke.
The New York Times > Opinion > The Cabinet Bubble
Published: November 22, 2004
This letter to the editor doesn't use the word uncurious but it describes Mr. Bush that way in other words. Reprinted in full.
To the Editor:
"Cabinet Choices Seen as Move for More Harmony and Control" (front page, Nov. 17) points out a major defect in George W. Bush's governing style.
Mr. Bush - already isolated from the outside world by his distaste for reading newspapers and even intelligence summaries - has walled himself off more securely in his Bush-fabricated "reality" by restocking his Cabinet with people with homogenous worldviews.
A truly great president would welcome alternative viewpoints in his cabinet as offering the kind of balance necessary to the running of the world's most important democracy.
This stacking of the deck can only hasten the drive to go forward with mistaken policies, right over a cliff.
Santa Ynez, Calif., Nov. 17, 2004
Winston-Salem Journal | Known to hew to party line by hue, bark
Saturday, November 20, 2004
By Richard Creed
Maureen Dowd's column of October 21 is excerpted below.
Elizabeth Austell of Kernersville has written to ask about a word that she is unfamiliar with. It appeared in a syndicated column that the Journal ran last month. Austell wrote: "Maureen Dowd's editorial ... used the word incurious. The sentence implies the meaning of the word, but I had never heard it used before. Is this a correct word?"
Dowd is a New York Times columnist. In the column Austell refers to, Dowd says that President Bush's grounds for war "are so weak that the only way he can justify it is by believing God wants it." She wrote that his only Iraq policy is a belief in miracles.
"Miracles make the incurious even more incurious," she wrote. "People who live by religious certainties don't have to waste time with recalcitrant facts or moral doubts."
Incurious is a legitimate word. It means the same thing as uncurious. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines incurious as lacking a normal or usual curiosity, indifferent.
The Ministry of Minor Perfidy
Posted by: Johno on Nov 02, 04 | 10:09 am
Bush's unquestioning loyalty to himself. "We're on a mission from gad" is great for the Blues Brothers, but terrible for policy. It too easily transmutes from humble supplication and introspective moral guidance into arrogant crusading, and that don't sit too good with me. His inability to admit making any mistakes, his inability to accept or delegate accountability, his loyalty to his inner circle long after that loyalty pays any dividends or indeed makes any sense, and his legendary incuriousness about policy or detail leave me deeply dissatisfied about his fitness to take the nation in a worthwhile direction .
The New York Times > Magazine > Letters
Published: October 31, 2004
he concerns raised in Ron Suskind's cover article about George W. Bush's faith-fueled certainty were shared by the vast majority of readers. Others, however, said that the president's conviction was precisely why they were planning to vote for him. . . .
Without a Doubt [bold in original]
I read with great interest Ron Suskind's (Oct. 17) exploration of the genesis of George W. Bush's faith-based philosophy of management and governance. It's the best analysis I've come across yet of what makes Bush Bush.
I can't fault the president for his strong faith and "easy certainty." What befuddles me is that almost, if not more than, half our country willingly accepts this faith (and its accompanying incuriousness) — that it's O.K. for the leader of the most powerful nation on earth to make decisions so thoughtlessly and without regard to consequence. In the end we all pay the price.
Pueblo West, Colo.
Vail Daily News for Vail and Beaver Creek Colorado - News
Christian faith is not the same as certainty
Jack Van Ens
October 29, 2004
The Rev. Dr. Jack R. Van Ens is a Presbyterian minister who heads Creative Growth Ministries, enhancing Christian worship through storytelling and dramatic presentations. Van Ens' book, "How Jefferson Made the Best of Bad Messes" is available in local bookstores for $7.95.
What's unsettling for evangelical Christians like myself is that by action and word President Bush equates faith with certainty. No evidence surfaces from Bush that he suffers from angst in searching after God's will, as Abraham Lincoln did. . . .
For Bush, sincerity when testifying to his faith trumps second-guessing. Second-guessing, or doubting as distraught father did with Jesus, Bush usually dismisses as a sign of weakness. Strength is linked with certainty. Doubting is equated with spinelessness in national policy.
Our president lives in a world of faith rarely riddled by doubt or confusion - a world foreign to me. In Bush's world what's clear, obvious and rarely debated pops up. No person whose faith leads him into this world is ever perplexed or second-guesses.
Evangelical Christians like me are lost in this world. The Bible describes another world where doubt and faith vie within us. Entering Bush's religious world, we must shut the door to insights that might disturb or second-guess what faithful Christians already feel for sure. Faith is the same as self-assured instincts. Faith equals certainty. . . .
Senator Carl Levin (D-Michigan) exposes the soft spot in this invincible presidential armor. Levin does not question Bush's native intelligence. "He's plenty smart to do the job," admits Levin. "It's his lack of curiosity about complex issues that troubles me."
The Globe and Mail
Battle of presidential résumés teaches lessons about life
By JUDITH TIMSON
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Yet his [Bush's] mediocre past has informed his present and had a profound impact on the world as, especially during the war with Iraq, his weaknesses have been on display -- a certain stubbornness, a shallow grasp of history, a distinct lack of curiosity and a newly acquired and perhaps faith-based implacable sense of right.
The Gentleman's "C" Presidency | The Village Gate
Submitted by Allen on Wed, 10/27/2004 - 5:00pm.
Without Karl Rove's ruthlessness and the Bush family's arrogance, George W. Bush's incuriosity and inability to see things in terms other than black and white would have harmed few other than some gullible oil patch investors, but in the realm of world and national leadership, there is no "Gentleman's C." It's time for the American people to give Bush the kind of fair and true evaluation of his ability and effort that his teachers at Andover, Yale and Harvard Business School never did.
All Ye Faithful - Is George Bush the Christians' Christian? By Steven Waldman
Posted Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2004, at 3:46 AM PT Steven Waldman is editor in chief of Beliefnet.
If Bush is incurious, it's not God's fault. . . .
The president repeatedly says he makes decisions based on "instinct" and "gut" and by looking into the hearts of world leaders. He lets it be known that he doesn't read the newspapers. He seems to discourage dissenting viewpoints. He jokes about his poor command of the English language and his lousy grades in school. He is America's most famous evangelical Christian and he's proudly anti-intellectual.
AlterNet: MediaCulture: Seymour Hersh: Man On Fire
By Lakshmi Chaudhry, AlterNet. Posted October 27, 2004.
Lakshmi Chaudhry is senior editor of AlterNet.
[Seymour Hersh:] It was that at no point in these 300-400 pages of this book [Bush at War by Bob Woodward] does any of the major players in the Bush administration say to one of his aides, "Hey, what's this Muslim thing here? And why don't you give me a little paper on this thing they call the [putting on a Texan drawl] Koh-ran."
This lack of curiosity about Arab motives. What the assumption was that the Muslim world was mad at us because we had what they wanted. The president still has this notion.
ZNet |U.S. | Science and the Bush Administration
by Peter Karagiannis October 27, 2004
Excellent article on the subordination of the Bush administration's subordination of science and truth to political ends. We could have included the entire article as an excerpt. Superscripting the footnote numbers added for clarity here.
It was in “All the President’s yes-men?” when Nature treated the administration’s lack of curiosity and willingness to listen to opiions that opposed their policies as a serious issue. Politics were becoming too involved in scientific decisions. Elizabeth Whitman, the first appointed head to the Environmental Protection Agency by President Bush, claimed that any questioning of his policies would be interpreted as disloyalty.20 Later that year another editorial, titled “No way to run a superpower”, claimed critics, including scientists, had too often been denied access to the administration and that the administration had an alarming tendency to “...distort scientific evidence or rig advisory panels for political purposes”.21
20 Suskind R. Without a Doubt. New York Times Magazine. October 17, 2004.
21 No way to run a superpower. Nature 2003; 424: 861.
Boston.com / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / The invisible homeless
The invisible homeless
By Nick Flynn | October 24, 2004
Nick Flynn is author of "Another (expletive) Night in Suck City."
Bush, who jokes that his base consists of the "haves and the have-mores," did not travel outside the United States before he became president, which might strike some as profoundly lack of curiosity, to say the least.
press-citizen.com | Local News
Iowa City Press-Citizen
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Still the same man
As Election Day nears, a final look at candidates
This Associated Press story also appeared in the South Africa Daily News Oct. 26, 2004, as Daily News - An outspoken gut player.
Bush himself, never one for reflection, shows no sense of nostalgia -- rather a gritty determination to, as he puts it, bring everything to the field, leaving nothing in the locker room. . . .
Former speechwriter David Frum says in his book that while the president's virtues outweigh his faults, Bush is "often uncurious and, as a result, ill informed, more conventional in his thinking than a leader probably should be."
Opinion - Candidates, groups play fast, loose
Serving Clark County, Washington
Opinion - Candidates, groups play fast, loose
Friday, October 22, 2004
GREGG HERRINGTON Columbian staff writer
Presidential personality: When George W. Bush was still governor of Texas, the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics at St. John's University in Minnesota (www.csbsju.edu/uspp) concluded his personality-based leadership strengths include: Charisma and interpersonality; self-confidence in the face of adversity; outgoing, gregarious personality "that appeals to voters who favor style over substance in an era of prosperity and peace; and an adventurous streak conducive to the cut and thrust of political life."
It said his limitations include: "The propensity for a superficial grasp of complex issues; a potential for acting impulsively, without fully appreciating the implications of his decisions or the long-term consequences of his policy initiatives, and placing personal connections, friendship, and loyalty over competence in his staffing decisions and appointments." That was in 1999.
Not a doubt: Jump ahead to last Sunday, Oct. 18. "Without a Doubt," an article The New York Times Magazine by Ron Suskind, explored Bush's style, keying on how it has been influenced by his religious faith. It quotes numerous sources, named and unnamed, Democrat and Republican, about the president's lack of curiosity, scripted staff meetings, dismissive treatment of doubters and how "he clearly feels that unflinching confidence has an almost mystical power (that) can all but create reality" for him and his inner circle.
Via Negativa: Uncurious George
October 21, 2004
Links to the next entry, DEAR FRIENDS WHO READ
The Middlewesterner: DEAR FRIENDS WHO READ
October 21, 2004
This weblog by Tom Montag is a reprint of a letter from Martha Bergland, author of 2 novels.
You can imagine this [the loss of one's spouse in war] because you read. You feel what other people feel. George Bush can't imagine this. George Bush doesn't read - even the briefings prepared for him. . . .
You can imagine the pain of grief. You read to know what the wide world is like. You are curious. George Bush does not want to hear anyone's cries of grief. He has not been to a single funeral for an American lost in Iraq. He does not imagine a woman's grief. George Bush does not read.
EVOTE.COM - 88 Minutes of Bush Bashing + 2 Minutes of Kerry Praise = Activism
October 21, 2004
With wife Tipper on hand, Monday’s talk found Gore expressing “something deeply troubling about President Bush’s relationship to reason, his disdain for facts, his incuriosity about new information” that might lead to changes in policy. . . .
“[I]t is this very inflexibility, based on a willful refusal to even consider alternative opinions or conflicting evidence, that poses the most serious danger to our country.”
The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Casualties of Faith
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: October 21, 2004
This article brilliantly skewer's Bush's certainty.
What does it tell you about a president that his grounds for war are so weak that the only way he can justify it is by believing God wants it? Or that his only Iraq policy now - as our troops fight a vicious insurgency and the dream of a stable democracy falls apart - is a belief in miracles?
Miracles make the incurious even more incurious. People who live by religious certainties don't have to waste time with recalcitrant facts or moral doubts. They do not need to torture themselves, for example, about dispatching American kids into a sand trap with ghostly enemies and without the proper backup, armor, expectations or cultural training. . . .
Mr. [TV evangelist Pat] Robertson said, "He was the most self-assured man I ever met." Paraphrasing Mark Twain, he said Mr. Bush was "like a contented Christian with four aces. He was just sitting there, like, I'm on top of the world, and I warned him about this war. ... And I was trying to say, Mr. President, you better prepare the American people for casualties. 'Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties.' " . . .
Mr. Bush didn't just ignore Mr. Robertson's warning - he ignored his own intelligence experts, who warned before the war that an invasion of Iraq would spur more support for political Islam and trigger violent conflict, including an insurgency that would drive Baathists and terrorists together in a toxic combination.
Salon.com News | Reality-based reporting
Ron Suskind, who exposed the ruthless internal operations of Team Bush, tells Salon that many Republicans, too, are frightened by the White House's "kill-or-be-killed desire to undermine public debate based on fact."
By Eric Boehlert
Oct. 20, 2004
Eric Boehlert is a senior writer at Salon.
Suskind's book featuring O'Neill depicted Bush as remarkably incurious and as a puppet of those around him, especially Vice President Cheney. . . .
[The preceding is the editorial voice of writer Eric Boehlert. The following are responses of Ron Suskind to Boehlert's interview questions.]
There are many, many conservatives and libertarians and Republicans who believe ardently in the value of public dialogue based on fact. Paul O'Neill is one of them. There are lots of Republicans who are troubled by this tactical force, this kill-or-be-killed desire to essentially undermine public debate based on fact. . . .
Every president, he [Roger Porter, domestic policy chief for Bush 41] says, wants his administration to stay on message. The difference here is that other presidents have allowed top officials, experts, men who run parts of the government to be involved in writing the song sheet. This president decided very early on that this was not going to happen. [But if] the president does not hear a wide array of alternatives, that can create significant dangers and bad outcomes.
This Just In | The Progressive magazine
Editor Matthew Rothschild comments on the news of the day.
October 19, 2004
The Imperiousness of Empire
Really a dishonorable mention, but listed here for convenient reference to the October 17 Suskind article, on which it comments.
According to the cover story of the Sunday The New York Times Magazine by Ron Suskind . . . George is studiously incurious.
Al Gore Speaks on Iraq
Monday, October 18 , 2004 at 12:30pm
Gaston Hall, Georgetown University
Also appeared on algordemocrats.com and on YubaNet.com as Al Gore: Bush Policy Driven By Ideology Not Reality. Gaurav Ghose of United Press International covered Gore's speech, including part of this citation, in an article that appeared in The Washington Times as Gore: Bush is 'misleading' America. And also on the weblog of Andrew Tobias as Joke, No Joke.
There are many people in both parties who have the uneasy feeling that there is something deeply troubling about President Bush’s relationship to reason, his disdain for facts, an incuriosity about new information that might produce a deeper understanding of the problems and policies that he wrestles with on behalf of the country. One group maligns the President as not being intelligent, or at least, not being smart enough to have a normal curiosity about separating fact from myth. A second group is convinced that his religious conversion experience was so profound that he relies on religious faith in place of logical analysis. But I disagree with both of those groups. I think he is plenty smart. And while I have no doubt that his religious belief is genuine, and that it is an important motivation for many things that he does in life, as it is for me and for many of you, most of the President’s frequent departures from fact-based analysis have much more to do with right-wing political and economic ideology than with the Bible. But it is crucially important to be precise in describing what it is he believes in so strongly and insulates from any logical challenge or even debate. It is ideology – and not his religious faith – that is the source of his inflexibility. Most of the problems he has caused for this country stem not from his belief in God, but from his belief in the infallibility of the right-wing Republican ideology that exalts the interests of the wealthy and of large corporations over the interests of the American people. Love of power for its own sake is the original sin of this presidency.
The New York Times > Magazine > Without a Doubt
By RON SUSKIND
Published: October 17, 2004
Superb, long article about Bush's incurious, faith-based decision-making process.
''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.'' . . .
Bush's intolerance of doubters has, if anything, increased, and few dare to question him now. . . .
Still others, like Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a Democrat, are worried about something other than his native intelligence. ''He's plenty smart enough to do the job,'' Levin said. ''It's his lack of curiosity about complex issues which troubles me.'' But more than anything else, I heard expressions of awe at the president's preternatural certainty and wonderment about its source. . . .
This is one key feature of the faith-based presidency: open dialogue, based on facts, is not seen as something of inherent value. It may, in fact, create doubt, which undercuts faith. . . .
A cluster of particularly vivid qualities was shaping George W. Bush's White House through the summer of 2001: a disdain for contemplation or deliberation, an embrace of decisiveness, a retreat from empiricism, a sometimes bullying impatience with doubters and even friendly questioners. Already Bush was saying, Have faith in me and my decisions, and you'll be rewarded. All through the White House, people were channeling the boss. He didn't second-guess himself; why should they?
The Left Coaster: Bush, The Diminishing President
Friday :: Oct 15, 2004
by Steve Soto
But the debates have clearly shown Bush to be a man of limited or no growth in the job, who takes no responsibility for error, who possesses a closed, rigid mind without curiosity for the real world around him, and who it turns out is a rather ordinary man at a time when the country needs more.
American Prospect Online - ViewWeb
At the debate, George W. Bush told us everything we need to know.
By Todd Gitlin
Web Exclusive: 10.15.04
Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University and the author, most recently, of Letters to a Young Activist. Also appeared as CBS News | A Presidential Thought Deficit | October 15, 2004 15:29:05, from which it was picked up at The Club for Truth.
A longer version of this article appeared at Bush owes no one an explanation Todd Gitlin - openDemocracy.
During his nearly four years in power, Bush has shielded himself from contrary opinion. Uncongenial media amount to a “filter.” Objectivity reaches him directly through his employees, “the most objective sources I have ... people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world.”
About Bush’s deep, unruffled incuriousness we have the words of former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, who told reporter Ron Suskind (as quoted in Suskind’s invaluable book The Price of Loyalty): “O’Neill had been made to understand by various colleagues in the White House that the President should not be expected to read reports. In his personal experience, the President didn’t even appear to have read the short memos he sent over. That made it especially troubling that Bush did not ask any questions....”
O’Neill served with Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, each of whom, O’Neill says, expected to hear advisers hash out alternatives from which he could pick and choose. O’Neill expected the same from Bush. Funny thing, though: Bush showed no interest in contrary opinions. Bush was not, in other words, disposed to reason himself toward conclusions. He trusted his gut. He ruled.
Suskind, you will recall, concluded that Bush “was caught in an echo chamber of his own making, cut off from everyone other than a circle around him that’s tiny and getting smaller and in concert on everything....” Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency chief, Christine Todd Whitman, said she had to make “blind stabs at deducing the mind of the President.” He didn’t “offer explanations, even to his most senior aides....” “Whitman had never heard the President analyze a complex issue, parse opposing positions, and settle on a judicious path. In fact, no one -- inside or outside the government, here or across the globe -- had heard him do that to any significant degree.” . . .
This mental arthritis explains many things about Bush’s administration: ignoring warnings that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on the United States, insisting that Saddam Hussein was buddied up with al-Qaeda and building weapons of mass destruction, refusing to plan for postwar Iraq, blowing off budget deficits, declaring that the economy is making splendid progress, piling tax cuts on tax cuts while reasons toss with the wind, closing the administration to press scrutiny.
Is He a Dope?
Los Angeles Times
October 7, 2004
The issue might better be described as one of mental laziness.
Does this man think through his beliefs before they harden into unwavering principles? Is he open to countervailing evidence? Does he test his beliefs against new evidence and outside argument? Does his understanding of a subject go any deeper than the minimum amount needed for public display? Is he intellectually curious? Does he try to reconcile his beliefs on one subject with his beliefs on another?
It's bad if a president is incapable of the abstract thought necessary for these mental exercises. If he is capable and isn't even trying, that's worse. It becomes a question of character. When a president sends thousands of young Americans to kill and die halfway around the world, thinking about it as hard and as honestly as possible is the least he can do.
Doug Giebel: What If Bush Didn't Lie?
October 4, 2004
What If Bush Didn't Lie?
By DOUG GIEBEL
Doug Giebel is a writer and analyst who lives in Big Sandy, Montana.
By the end of the first debate, George W. Bush appeared eager to just get the hell off the stage and go back out on the campaign trail where he is shielded from critical comments and probing questions. The deliberate insulating of the president, however, has a negative side. That is, when confronted with even moderately-critical questions or accusations, the insulated president lacks the experience to deal with them effectively. Instead, he bristles, as if to say, "I don't want to hear bad news." . . .
As Governor of Texas, Bush apparently did not trouble himself with conflicting thoughts over whether or not Death Row inmates should be executed. . . .
It seems clear that despite his lack of genuine curiosity, George W. Bush enjoys being President of the United States.
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