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Time 2001 Person
of the Year
Inside the War Room
Relying on instinct, and trusting his team, George W. Bush unleashed a new kind of war against a new kind of enemy — and faster than you might have guessed
BY James Carney and John F. Dickerson
From the Dec. 31, 2001 - Jan. 7, 2002 issue of TIME
Bush is, on paper, the least experienced President to take office in a century. During the campaign and through his first eight months on the job, doubts about his abilities focused on his seeming shallowness, his lack of curiosity about the world or the specifics of policy. Comics mocked him; reporters and commentators raised questions about his hands-off management style and lax work habits.
A talent for war
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2001 @ 10:16:06 EST
This past year, I've been one of the minority of observers who didn't think the man was a total moron. Incurious, definitely -- lazy, it sure looks that way -- a twit, I'm not going to argue there.
TIME.com: TIME Magazine Archive -- Bush in the Crucible -- Sep. 24, 2001
By ERIC POOLEY AND KAREN TUMULTY
It would have been nice for his curiosity to start five weeks earlier, on August 6, 2001. But later evidence shows that post-Sep. 11 curiosity didn't exist either.
But now, in briefings, aides say, the President is more curious and hungry for information than ever. He takes the time to understand the processes of airport security and intelligence gathering instead of racing to the decision line of the memos set before him.
Columns: On: Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
SEPTEMBER 7 - 13, 2001
by John Powers
Another excerpt appears in Uncurious Media.
As for the president himself, the coverage has long centered on the most cartoonish aspects of his personality, and it’s easy to understand why. The very qualities that made him a perfect consensus candidate for the Republicans — his loyalty, wariness and lack of curiosity — are precisely the things that make him the very nightmare of dullness for the media, especially in the wake of the garrulous, promiscuous Clinton, whose name could “open” an episode of Hardball the way Cruise can open the first weekend of Mission: Impossible.
clear points of view
San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, August 8, 2001
"Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages That Shaped Our Recent History" is the forthcoming book of Kati Marton, whose husband is Richard Holbrooke, who was Bill Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations.
So, how unbiased is Marton's point of view?
In an epilogue about the relationship between George W. and Laura Bush, she makes a weak stab at being fair, but misses the mark: "Even though some of his oldest friends sometimes ask, 'How did this happen?'" writes Marton of Bush's election, "it has been a mistake to underestimate this inarticulate, incurious man."
Forecasts Are Unraveling
Jul 1, 2001
WASHINGTON — . . . THIS TOWN'S TWO FEDERAL BUDGET OFFICES HAVE ALREADY BEGUN DEALING WITH THE LOOMING CONSEQUENCES OF NONCREDIBLE PUBLIC BOOKS IN THE FACE OF AN OBVIOUSLY SLUGGISH ECONOMY. ONE OF THEM, THE DEVOUTLY NONPARTISAN OUTFIT THAT WORKS FOR CONGRESS, WILL PROBABLY FACE THE MUSIC. THE OTHER ONE, NOMINALLY UNDER THE INCURIOUS THUMB OF PRESIDENT BUSH, IS DESPERATELY SEEKING FUDGE.
Last Look -- After the "Earthquake"
by Marty Brownstein
Marty Brownstein is an associate professor of politics; he has taught at Ithaca College since 1970.
June 18, 2001
Neither of the major candidates provided much confidence or inspiration. One was smug and incurious, the other pompous and eerily uncentered.
Journal -- Pundit Pap
Sunday, June 3, 2001
Suicide Bomber Fails to Kill Talk of Jeffords Defection, Jenna's Boozing
by The Pundit Pap Team
bracketed comments inserted here for clarity
Then Tim [Russert, managing editor and moderator, Meet the Press] attacked Smirk -- USING CLINTON! This was a near-amazing turn of events; Tim, who seems to have a pathological hatred of The Big Dog, was being courtly and cordial to Powell, but essentially praised Clinton for staying engaged up to the last day, then said that Uncurious George was not engaged. Powell became defensive, saying that "we have been deeply engaged" since Usurper Boy took over. Powell sounded a little angry -- and we can't blame him. But the truth is, Powell has been the ONLY member of the Texas Dauphin's court that has remained engaged in anything resembling diplomacy -- and has been stymied by the isolationist Neanderthals who occupy the West Wing, the EOB [Executive Office Building] and the Defense Department.
/ First 100 Days / Bush struts the right stuff / Conservative agenda
prevails despite more moderate talk
San Francisco Chronicle
Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief
Sunday, April 29, 2001
Blame it on the circumstances of his election, his limited political experience, his apparent lack of intellectual curiosity, his blue-blood background, a biased media, or comedians who ridicule the "vacant look" in his eyes, but no president in memory has had to work so hard to prove his capacity to handle the job.
Jonathan Chait: 'I told you so!'
posted Saturday, April 28, 2001 @ 08:42:57 EDT
by Jonathan Chait, The New Republic, April 30, 2001
Splendid analysis of Bush's "childlike ignorance," but not his incuriosity per se.
The prevailing image of Bush has flipped, from dumb moderate to wily conservative.
But why couldn't Bush be both conservative and dumb? (By "dumb," I mean not a lack of innate intelligence but a persistent incuriosity that has kept him in a state of childlike ignorance.)
Bush on the von Moltke grid?
Monday, April 23, 2001
By MARK SHIELDS
Mark Shields is a political columnist based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular commentator on PBS' "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" and CNN's "Capital Gang." His column is distributed by Creators Syndicate.
What about the delegator in chief, George W. Bush? No all-nighters in this White House, thank you. Physically lazy, for sure. He obviously is not infected with terminal curiosity. Some ask if the Texan in his youth once had a mild case of curiosity, which he successfully overcame.
A virtual pet-Bush in your doghouse?
Wednesday, April 18, 2001
Marilyn Lois Polak
WorldNetDaily Exclusive Commentary
A virtual pet-Bush in your doghouse?
I wanna feed the PortaBush irradiated meat and, say, Franken-food corn from Monsanto, and keep its bowl well-filled with the same arsenic-water Uncurious George says is OK for his fella Amurricans to, um, poison themselves with -- er, consume.
Bush's Pre-Emptive Comedy Strike
posted on Sunday, April 08, 2001 @ 09:24:55 EDT
There are so many divergent views of the man, from people who claim to have known him. The quiet recluse or the partying frat boy. The womanizer or the shy, geeky "reclamation case". Incurious redneck or thoughtful Yale history major. Dignified or irresponsible. Tranquil or tightly-wound. Sensitive or uncouth. The Chameleon-in-Chief. Mercurial. Just remember: the Bush administration itself acknowledges that mercury can be dangerous.
from America: The Elephant at the Dinner Table (PDF file)
By Brian Turner
University of Sussex
Studies in Social and Political Thought
Issue 4 March 2001
Among other issues, this article forecasts the immoderation of the Bush administration and discusses fraudulent vote counting in Florida.
The cartoon version of the man is that he is ‘incurious’, and therefore no one expects him to ‘make sense’ (shades of Ronald Reagan).
Columbia Journalism Review
The World Sees News Through New York Eyes
By Brent Cunningham
It says on web page "MAY/JUNE 2003" but this is an error. This article could have been cited under Uncurious Media.
Gregory Curtis, a former Texas Monthly editor, says "a prominent New York journalist" interviewed him about President Bush after the election. During the interview, the reporter said the problem with Bush is that he "just isn't very curious." Curtis, now an editor at large for Time, Inc., says it was the first time he had heard it put that way. "Then, a couple weeks later," he says, "I am reading a story on Bush and foreign policy in The New York Times Magazine, and there is that same idea phrased almost exactly the same way. I thought the two reporters must have discussed it at a party or something. Then, at the inauguration, there is Sam Donaldson saying that the trouble with Bush is that he lacks curiosity. I can't explain how it happens, but certain ideas achieve a critical mass in the national media." It could be that Bush isn't curious. But the timing is, well, curious.
TIME Magazine Archive -- The Shadow Moves On -- Jan. 29, 2001
By MARGARET CARLSON
Bush and Clinton have little in common--not intellectual curiosity, not ideology, not attention span.
Lessons of jazz for foreign policy (E-mail webmaster
for full text.)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Jan 28, 2001
by Robert J. White
Bush wants to restore the anti-Iraq coalition his father created. When doing so proves impossible and his advisers offer conflicting advice, the president will no longer be incurious George. He will have to decide; he will improvise.
Unlimited | Special reports | Bush's hard men sweep away the Clinton legacy
Sunday January 21, 2001
The new President is often described as an 'incurious' man, which is odd for one born to a political dynasty who took degrees at Harvard and Yale during the era of cut-price international air travel.
Turn at Oval Office / White House phone won't be ringing in the wee
San Francisco Chronicle
Robert Salladay, Chronicle Political Writer
Saturday, January 20, 2001
"Clinton has a tremendous intellectual curiosity, which Bush does not evidently," said Dennis J. Goldford, chairman of the political science department at Drake University.
Trends of Trade
The president’s new clothes
Financial Times Editorial, January 20, 2001
Even his supporters concede that George W. is “intellectually incurious”.
for Dummies (Sung to the tune of "Beverly Hillbillies")
Includes doctored photograph showing George W. Bush carrying an oversize copy of Presidency for Dummies. Also includes song lyrics first published December 2000 on The Konformist.
Come and listen to my story 'bout a boy name Bush.
His IQ was zero and his head was up his tush.
He drank like a fish while he drove all about.
But it didn't really matter 'cuz his daddy bailed him out.
DUI, that is. Criminal record. Cover-up.
Well, the first thing you know little Georgie goes to Yale.
. . .
Undated, but refers to an earlier article dated January 11, 2001.
And now, a word on the Brave New World Order of the 21st century:
George W. Bush has the gilded distinction of being the first President in the history of the United States to openly steal an election. And the poor guy can hardly read.
What fun; another four years, another Bush-league chief executive. Naturally he couldn’t have done it without a whole lotta help from his friends. Particularly the five closet-fascist Injustices of the U.S. Supreme Kangaroo Court who stopped the vote count in Florida and ruled that the majority of American people have no right to elect the American President.
In spite of such dubious favors, however, one gets the definite feeling that ol’ Gee Dubbya would be a lot more comfortable just drinkin’ whiskey and playin’ golf with his millionaire friends instead of trying to sound intelligent in front of news cameras. But darn it, dear old Dad insisted he do this Presidential thing, and now Gee Dub is just gonna have to fake it the next few years. Of course, he’ll have plenty of help with that too.
Besides, just because incurious George got himself miselected Commandeer-in-Chief doesn’t mean the party’s over. After all, cocaine is plentiful indeed to people as closely connected with the CIA as the Bushes have been from its beginning in 1947. And residency in the White House has never been a hindrance to any sort of criminal behavior before, so a hearty cocaine habit won’t present any problems now.
The above article also appears at: THE SCABS - Scocial.Critics.Against.Bullshit.Systems
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