Last Thursday, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, spoke in Benton Harbor, Michigan, reflecting on some of the joys and challenges he and his family faced during his presidency. Afterwards, he sat down with veteran Man-Bunny Matrix reporter Mouse Ears. The following is a transcript of that exchange.
EARS: Mr. President, thank you for joining us.
BUSH: Good to be with you, Mouse.
EARS: So, please repeat some of the things you said here tonight.
BUSH: Well, you know, I was talking about how “I wasn’t surprised to lose support for some of the main elements of my national security agenda.”
EARS: Yes. Not surprising.
BUSH: And “I wasn’t surprised that people forgot the feeling of how they felt after September 11.”
EARS: Is that what happened?
BUSH: Well at least “I’m grateful people were able to move beyond the events of September 11.”
EARS: So that's what it was?
BUSH: Well “as a president you don't want your nation to be so worried about an attack that people don't go about their lives.”
EARS: How do you explain that sentiment in light of your 2004 campaign?
BUSH: “The psychology of the nation concerned me.”
EARS: The feeling was mutual.
BUSH: “Which then made it harder to get people to listen to you.”
EARS: I was all ears.
BUSH: Well “the fact that Americans tuned out most of the news coverage wasn’t surprising to me.”
EARS: Some might take issue with your premise, but tell us why anyway.
BUSH: Well “the truth of the matter is, I never watched the nightly news.”
EARS: Ah. That would explain a lot. Now why is that?
BUSH: “Because it was predictable.”
EARS: Predictably awful?
EARS: You say this as newsmaker in chief.
BUSH: You bet.
EARS: Got it.
BUSH: And, y’know, “nor did I ever pay attention to the editorial pages…good editorials…
EARS: I didn’t really notice those either.
BUSH: "…or bad."
EARS: Those I saw.
BUSH: Well y’see “when you're president you can get so obsessed with this stuff that I felt it would cloud your vision.”
EARS: When I’m...what?
BUSH: “You can get so obsessed with this stuff I felt it would cloud your vision.”
EARS: Please pick a pronoun, Mr. President.
BUSH: “I felt it would cloud your vision.”
EARS: As a man who understands cloudy vision.
BUSH: Well “the truth of the matter is there is so much attention paid to you...”
EARS: No, I’m just a bunny. You were in the White House.
BUSH: Well “I thought it important even in the tougest moments to be upbeat…”
EARS: Yeah, that was weird.
BUSH: “And not be so worried about myself…”
EARS: Or anyone else.
BUSH: “…that I couldn’t convey a sense of confidence. “
EARS: You did have us fooled. Now, if you would, talk a little about your dad.
BUSH: Well, “it’s much harder to be the father of the president than to be the president.”
EARS: He did get a lot sympathy.
BUSH: Yeah, y’know, “I used to have to admonish him not pay [sic] attention to what they were writing in the editorial pages about his son.”
EARS: The editorial pages you didn’t read.
BUSH: Well, Laura read them. And “frankly, I’m not so sure if we hadn’t married she’d have voted for me.”
EARS: If you hadn’t married? When…? Never mind. She's a patriot. So talk a little about your Vice President.
BUSH: Well, “a great relief was having a Vice President who had no plans to run for the top spot.”
EARS: I’ll say.
BUSH: Well you know, "if things got tough, he could be one of the first person off the ship…"
EARS: One of the first person?
BUSH: One of the very first person.
EARS: Perhaps followed by more person?
BUSH: Well, you know, if he left it "would be really unpleasant in the White House."
EARS: Not to mention in wherever he went. But nonetheless, had he left, you would have remained upbeat?
BUSH: You bet.
EARS: Us too. Well Mr. President, thank you for taking the time to…
BUSH: “You know, people ask what’s it like…”
BUSH: “Well I have never stopped at a traffic light for eight years.”
EARS: Sound like fun. Mr. President, we appreciate you taking the time for verbatim repetition of the things you just said…
EARS: Thank you for joining us.
BUSH: Huck/Palin 2012!
EARS: Yee haw.