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16 September 2005
Lights! Cameras! Action! ......well, temporarily.

Tush in actionI did not watch Tush's stump speech staged in front of a Jackson Square cathedral in New Orleans last night. I wasn't planning to watch anyway, but I saw an Elizabeth Bumiller Whitehouse pool report on Wonkette's site and, serious or not, it seemed to indicate that the speech would be nothing more than a Emperor Tush commercial. Here's an excerpt from Bumiller's WH pool report:

Your pool was just taken for a look-see of the speech site in Jackson Square; we'll be in the vans when the president speaks, so we agitated and got the 10-minute tour. It was worth it. The president will be positioned at a podium set up in the grass in the square, with a statute of Andrew Jackson astride his horse and St. Louis Cathedral in the background. Bobby DeServi and Scott Sforza were on hand as we drove up about 8 p.m. or so EDT handling last-minute details of the stagecraft. Bush will be lit with warm tungsten lighting, but the statue and cathedral will be illuminated with much brighter, brighter lights, along nothing like the candlepower that DeServi and Sforza used on Sept. 11, 2002, to light up the Statue of Liberty for Bush's speech in New York Harbor.

Here's a quote from DeServi on the lit up cathedral: "Oh, it's heated up. It's going to print loud.''

I'm not generally interested in the type of thing.

This morning, via TPM and Daily Kos, I read comments from Brian Williams, anchor for NBC who witnessed the drama:

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

Nice. All pomp and theater, not a drop of substance or reality. Generators and lights were positioned and fired up for the big Rove-crafted campaign speech, then it's all turned off, the shirt-sleeved Emperor and his entourage of PR designers and shapers are transported back to the aircraft carrier or wherever they're housed for the evening. Why was the speech even delivered from New Orleans? There's no one there to hear it and it cost lots of time and resources to stage it. And nothing will result from it. The choice of an open-necked shirt instead of a jacket and tie? We're supposed to imagine he's rescued a family or that he's just come off a line of sandbag carriers stopping a leak in the levee.

The real time for all this furious effort, planning and action was before, during and immediately after the hurricane, not now that it's just a his political problem. I could not be more disgusted with our government.

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