President Bush offered rare public comments yesterday on his past problems with alcohol, President Bush said that he had never been a “knee-walking drunk,” but that “I doubt I’d be standing here if I hadn’t quit drinking whiskey, and beer, and wine and all that.”
Bush has previously said he often drank too much as a young man, and that he quit drinking in 1986 after overindulging on his 40th birthday.
There was also the cocaine rumor that was never verified…
Shortly before the 2000 presidential election, news surfacedhe was arrested in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Bush went on the say, “Alcohol can compete with your affections. It sure did in my case – affections with your family, or affections for exercise.”
“It was the competition that I decided just wasn’t worth it.”
He also maintained he has not had a drink of alcohol in 21 years since he quit, and said he’s a “better man for it.”
Although sometimes I do wonder about that last part. Let’s face it, there have been many occasions over the past few years where Bush has looked drunk, medicated, stoned, or all three!
Take last year’s G8 summit.
If you take Bush’s quotes and separate them from other world leaders, he sounds just like a whiskey drunk.
“Gotta go home. Gotta do sumthin’ tonight. Get ona plane. Go home. It’s a long flight. How long is your flight? That’s a long flight. Your country is big. His country is big too.”
I’ve heard this kind of language before…out of some mindless drunk who can’t shut up. Bush just kept running his mouth off, totally disconnected from the non-verbal clues of the people around him.
It was more of the same at the G8 press conference. Bush couldn’t stop talking about the pig roast. It didn’t matter what anyone asked him, he just kept saying whatever his soaked brain was looping on, in this case, the pig.
There was also a time he went to Canada and couldn’t get off the subject of the mouth one of the Canadian Prime Minister’s staff members! “You’ve got a purty mouth.” Not once but several times. “You’ve sure got a purty mouth.” And, “Your mouth is prettier than my Scott’s mouth.”
Who does this outside of dive bars?
At meeting with leaders he routinely sits slouched back in his chair, like a guy at a barbecue on his second or third 6 pack, chomping on his food with his mouth open, and making minimal effort to keep up his end of the conversation.
Then there was the presidential debate with John Kerry. Remember that fiasco. The lectern was literally holding the guy up.
Most world leaders seem to act very restrained and controlled around Bush, maintaining a public facade of geniality while holding back from actually being engaged with him. What seems to be courtesy from many diplomats may actually be them trying to get through the fog around Bush as they work to penetrate some kind of lucidness.
Bush’s social modus operandi with everyone, seems to be overuse of meaningless language, forced jocularity and fake intimacy to foster a relationship that does not exist.
Like a drunk, no one really wants to be around him.
No drinks in 21 years Mr. President? I wonder about that indeed.
Although, it would surely explain some of his policy decisions and verbal gaffs, now wouldn’t it?