It is hard to believe that I am writing a piece in defense of President George W. Bush after all the trouble he and his administration have gotten us into. A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing the White House web site and I stumbled upon a video tour of the Oval Office given by none other than the President himself. You can find the video here http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/life/video/index.html.
I am astounded that the web production folks did not edit this video more carefully. About two minutes and 20 seconds into the video, President Bush introduces a painting on the Oval Office wall, and then repeats himself as if he had not already said what he said. After about four minutes and 15 seconds he begins to discuss a Tom Lea painting and again, says almost the exact sentence twice as if he had not already said it once.
There has been much written about the possibility that President Bush is dyslexic. He has denied it. I think this video on the White House web site makes a clear case that the President has some sort of cognitive disability. I discount the possibility that he was just nervous in the video because this man speaks publicly on a regular basis.
My point here is not to make fun of the President. On the contrary, I got a lump in my throat when I watched the Oval Office tour video. This is a man who truly has innate difficulty with communication. I can only wonder to what degree the manipulators in his administration have taken advantage of his disability. At worst, this may very well be the Presidency of Chauncey Gardner, the feeble minded but well meaning protagonist of the 1979 film “Being There”.