"We will ask not only what is legal, but what is right; not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves." – George W. Bush
President Bush is still in Latin America learning just how popular he is in this hemisphere (hint: more popular than in the other hemisphere, which is like saying Vanilli was the talented one.) At an appearance with the Panamanian president, Bush fielded questions from reporters. I particularly liked this one:
Q: Back in October of 2000, Mr. President —
PRESIDENT BUSH: October of 2000?
Q: Yes, sir. Back in October of 2000, this is what you said —
PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay. Whew.
Q: “We will ask not only what is legal, but what is right; not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves.” In the CIA leak case, has your administration lived up to this campaign promise?
PRESIDENT BUSH: In the — pardon my — I didn’t hear you.
Q: In the CIA leak case, has your administration lived up to this campaign promise?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Oh, Deb, look, I said the other day to the press corps that was assembled in Argentina that there’s still an ongoing investigation. We take this investigation very seriously, and we’ll continue to cooperate during the investigation.
Well, of course he can’t answer the question honestly, because then he’d have to explain why he hasn’t fired anyone “involved” with the leak case and how he changed his standard to “anyone convicted of a crime” to save Turd Blossom’s butt.
But then, the reporter knew that even before asking the question. She should not have added “In the CIA leak case” to her question, because Rove’s already programmed the “we won’t talk about an ongoing investigation” response deeply into anyone in the administration who hears the word “leak”, to the point that Bush can’t tell Rove he’s leaving the room to go urinate without reiterating that he’s not going to comment on an ongoing investigation. It would have been interesting to hear his response to just “Has your administration lived up to the campaign promise to provide the American people ‘not only what is legal, but what is right; not what the lawyers allow, but what the public deserves’?”