Notes on the Atrocities Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...
Friday, December 05, 2003
BUSH SAID TO BE UNCONVINCING AS 'REAL SELF;' WILL BE PLAYED BY STAND-IN
WASHINGTON--In a Presidential first, George W. Bush will be portrayed by an actor in all public appearances through the end of his term in 2004, sources said Friday. If the American public responds favorably, the actor will remain in character through 2008, should the President be re-elected. The reason for this startling move is that an actor "can more accurately portray the real George Bush," according to administation sources.
"The real George Bush is a compassionate man, an emotional man. He believes strongly in the values of family, God, and country," said Dick Jones, Undersecretary of Public Identity. "But sometimes this doesn't come across as clearly as it should. By using an actor, Americans will see the real George Bush."
Hank "Tex" Wilson has been tapped to act as stand-in. A former bull rider from Laredo, Wilson has most recently played Blake Winsford on CBS's Guiding Light. "Hank tested very well," said Jones. "He has the President's magnatism, but can also communicate deep compassion. He is well-spoken, but not too hoity toity, like the Democrats. He's a real man. Fills out his Levi's, if you know what I mean."
Since worsening conditions in Iraq, the President has appeared more confused in public appearances. According to a recent Zogby poll, a majority of Americans found him "weaselly." The idea for a stand-in hit the President's advisors when reviewing press coverage of his recent clandestine visit to Baghdad. Seeing how well a fake turkey worked, advisors began wondering about a fake President. "When we saw Tex, it all just fell together," said Jones.
If there is concern of a possible backlash, the White House isn't showing it. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice commented on the scheme. "Everyone knows who's running the country, right? I mean, they know it isn't Tex. So what's really the harm? It will make Americans proud of their President, and it will allow the real President to attend to more important business."
The President was on his way to Crawford for a two-week vacation and was unavailable for comment.
[Today's satire inspired by the lovely and talented Mary Matalin, who made the argument that in order to get to the real Bush, you had to stage events. On the Baghdad turkey incident, she said: "This was effective, because it captured something about the president that people know is true, that he really cares about the soldiers and gets emotional when he sees them. You have to figure out how to capture the Bush we know, even if it doesn't come through in a speech situation or a press conference. He regularly rejects anything that is not him." Thanks for the inspiration, Mary!]