On 9/11, a Telling Seven-Minute Silence
Interpreting the President's Image in Crisis
By Joel Achenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 19, 2004
You're at a photo op, reading a book with schoolchildren and an aide suddenly whispers that a second plane has hit the World Trade Center. "America is under attack."
You're the president of the United States. What do you do?
[. . .]
Instead he continues to sit in the classroom, listening to children read aloud. Moore lets the tape roll as the minutes pass painfully by.
[. . .]
Presidential historian Robert Dallek of Boston University thinks Bush focused too much on appearances, rather than leaping into action.
"It speaks volumes about the preoccupation these politicians have about manipulating image," Dallek said yesterday. Bush should have immediately excused himself and started figuring out what was happening and what he could do. "The way to project calm and strength is to take care of business."
Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at the University of New Orleans, concurs: "I don't understand how one sits there. I just don't. Minutes are an eternity in that sort of situation. . . . A quick presidential decision may save lives."
Read it all here.
Moron would have continued to sit there had his aides not suggested he do something. Fucking asshole.
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