Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blinky builds a house

Much is being made of W's Tuesday morning appearance on the Today show. George & Laura wanted a nice photo-op of themselves with the Habitat for Humanity folks. I know it's hard to believe but Jimmy Carter's role in Habitat didn't come up once in the 14 min interview. No respect, I tellsya.

As per usual, W managed to avoid breaking any real news in his 14 min with Matt Lauer*. So why was the interview so press-worthy? People in the mainstream press are beginning to openly comment on Bush's deteriorating body language. And by "people," I guess I mean Dana Milbank of WaPo. Catty Dana devoted an entire "Washington Sketch" to the blinks, fidgets and awkward pauses of the American President. Milbank deconstructs the 14-min interview thusly:

"The president was a blur of blinks, taps, jiggles, pivots and shifts. Bush has always been an active man, but standing with Lauer and the serene, steady first lady, he had the body language of a man wishing urgently to be elsewhere. When the questioning turned to [Supreme Court nominee, Harriet] Miers, Bush blinked 37 times in a single answer -- along with a lick of the lips, three weight shifts and some serious foot jiggling.
[...]"As Lauer went through his introduction, the presidential eyes zoomed left, then right, then left and right again, then center, down and up at the interviewer. The presidential fidgeting spiked when Lauer mentioned the Democratic accusation that Bush was performing a "photo op." Bush pushed out his lower front lip, then licked the right corner of his mouth. Lauer's query about whether conservatives "are feeling let down by you" appeared to provoke furious jiggling of the right leg."

You can see the whole Today show exchange at Crooks & Liars. Don't say I didn't warn you,'s not for the gentle-stomached.

The C & L folks have also compiled a short video of W's jaw-clenching. I'm telling you, there's something desperately wrong with that man.

*"14 min with Matt Lauer" sounds pretty ominous to me; like one of those humiliating junior-high party games. Say it with me: Eeeeeeeeew!


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