Friday, March 28, 2003

i slit the sheet, the sheet i slit, and...

Watching the Azores summit a week ago, I easily noticed the difference in articulation between President Bush from Texas and British Prime Minister Blair. Bush, at a loss of words, fell back upon his upbringings and used a poker analogy. Domestically, that's alright. But the Azores was an international summit also trying to rally international support.

Luckily for Bush, Blair is part of our coalition. Articulate, sharp, and charasmatic, Blair is one of the few people who have kept the US's stance at least legitimate these last few months.

When I see Bush and Blair next to each other at the same conference, my reaction is, "C'mon, how is this even fair?"

The articulation gap between Bush and Blair is not just in my imagination. Apparently, the New York Times has noticed it too:

"We've got plenty of Western allies," President Bush gruffly told a reporter who asked yesterday why so many European countries opposed the invasion of Iraq. "We got," Mr. Bush paused, as if searching for an example, then waved his arm dismissively. "I mean, we can give you the list."

Prime Minister Tony Blair put it differently at a joint news conference at Camp David. "Yes, there are countries that disagree with what we're doing," he said. "I mean, there's no point in hiding it. There's been a division." In a considered reply, Mr. Blair added that he understood why some "hesitate before committing to conflict and to war," but he argued that an even more important principle was at stake.

Side by side, American presidents and British prime ministers can seem divided by a common language. But perhaps because of the import of the moment, the two leaders' televised news conference presented more than just a contrast in styles. Mr. Blair, usually cast as the stalwart junior partner, took over like Cyrano de Bergerac, embellishing Mr. Bush's brusque utterances to woo a skeptical world. (full text)

Some say Blair's eloquence can be attributed to the Prime Minister's frequent hostile questionings from Parlaiment. The President of the United States does not need to interact with Congress in the same way--thus Bush has been shielded. But at the same time, it's left him ill-prepared for the media.

I think our country should have just elected the debater in 2000 (Al Gore). But for now, Blair will do.


Post a Comment

<< Home