Was President Bush a good television President? -- VIDEO
Now, before you raise your pitchforks in a move to skewer me as a "liberal journalist," I just want to clarify what this item will be about. This is not an article about the job President Bush has done over the last eight years. You all have your differing opinions (which should be vented on politically-based sites) about how good or bad he did when it comes to policy. What I am going to talk about here is more of an image issue than a job performance one. We good? Good!
I'm going to ask a simple question: Was George W. Bush a good television President? Let's face it, the way that any famous person, whether they be Hollywood star or politician, is prepped for the TV cameras can make or break that person. Take the example of the Kennedy-Nixon televised debate in 1960. While many people have said that Nixon 'won' the debate on his statements, they also say that the way he looked in front of the cameras made voters uneasy about him and, eventually, cost him the election.
So it goes when someone becomes the President of the United States. Whether or not a person voted for the person sitting in the Oval Office, the comfort level he or she feels when seeing this person on television can lead to a feeling of confidence or uneasiness in the way he president is leading the nation. It's been that way since Eisenhower began to utilize the power of the then-new technology back in the early 50s. It's even more prevalent today as we live in a world of instantaneous news.
When it comes to President Bush -- again, this is solely on his television performances -- the presence just wasn't there. Now, I'm not saying this was the case every single time he had a press conference or addressed the nation. Fact is, when we really needed him to keep this country calm during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he was there for us as a handle to grasp onto in a period of huge uncertainty. He also outdid himself during the nationwide anthrax scare and the war in Afghanistan.
Other than that, he and television weren't friends. No matter what he did, TV made him look less intelligent than he really was. He hemmed, he hawed, he paused for long periods of time to answer questions from the press. He always seemed to squint -- maybe from the lights or maybe because he was having trouble seeing something. For some, the way he acted in front of the cameras may have been considered homespun. For others, it just added to their feelings of uneasiness about the President and his actions.
I don't place the blame for this all on him. Personally, I think some of his people gave him poor advice on how to act in front of the TV cameras. I mean, that can be the only reason why he spoke to the nation in the spring of 2003 with a 'Mission Accomplished' banner behind him. Perhaps they were thinking of Presidents Carter and Truman -- two of our more modern "down home" leaders -- when they gave him advice on how to handle speeches and press conferences.
Thing is, it doesn't seem like President Bush was always this way. As early as the 1994 Texas Gubernatorial debates, Bush looked to be a very good speaker. Even during the 2000 Presidential debates, Bush appeared calm and sure of himself on camera. Was it the weight and stress of the office that weighed him down to the point that he always looked unsure and somewhat sinister to us viewers? That's the only reason I can think of for his reactions.
So, what's your opinion on this? Once again,forget his job performance for the last two terms. Was George W. Bush a good President for television or not? I await for heated opinions.
|Sometimes yes, sometimes no||35 (23.6%)|