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10/09/2005 12:18:00 AM | Nathan Empsall

On The Nature Of George Bush (the current one)

It occurs to me that President Bush is not a politician. He is a businessman and an evangelical, but not a politician. Everyone knows that he'd had little political experience before '88, and jumped in himself almost on a whim. I would add to that, watch what we he says. Whenever he nominates someone to some position, he says they're qualified based on jobs they've had and the fact that they have a "good heart". Resume items are good in business, and an evangelical cares about having a "good heart". Loyalty, another trait W cares about, is important to both groups, as well. He never talks about ideology, something his advisors would seem to have but his SC nominees do not; he never talks about the ability to connect, or of vision, of policy details. These are the things politicians care about and pay attention to. And look at how he deals with problems - to gain success in the first place, he stresses the same points over and over again. When he loses that success, when his Social Security plans don't go over with the public or when Iraq, Katrina, energy, and five ethical scandals jump out at him and yell "BOO!", what does he do? He stresses the same points harder. These are the signs of an evangelical ideologue, but not of a savvy politician (or a good businessman, which explains why while he may be a businessman, his companies all failed). Karl Rove, previously Ken Mehlmann, and a host of others handle the politics for the President. He's certainly involved - Paul O'Neill says that every meeting focused more on politics than on policy - but that's not who he is as a person.



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