13 October 2004

--- The Bulge That Launched a Thousand Rumors

The first US presidential debate in Miami has sparked debates and rumors (mainly among bloggers in the Internet) on the "mysterious bulge" that was noticed by keen observers on the back of Bush as he leaned over the lectern and faced moderator Jim Lehrer.

Particularly adding fuel to the fire are notable bloggers like IS BUSH WIRED? and CannonFire.

Many editorial cartoons have been drawn on the subject matter, and I particularly like this one done by Steve Bell of Guardian Unlimited:

Dave Lindorff, writing for the Salon had a very good take on the flippancies exhibited by W during the first debate that led most to suspect and connect the dots since noticing the "mysterious bulge." Since the Salon is on a subscriber-view-basis, I'm sharing it with you:

" On several occasions, the president simply stopped speaking for an uncomfortably long time and stared ahead with an odd expression on his face. Was he listening to someone helping him with his response to a question? Even weirder was the president's strange outburst. In a peeved rejoinder to Kerry, he said, 'As the politics change, his positions change. And that's not how a commander in chief acts. I, I, uh, --- Let me finish --- The intelligence I looked at was the same intelligence my opponent looked at.' It must be said that Bush pointed toward Lehrer as he declared 'Let me finish.' The green warning light was lit, signaling he had 30 seconds to, well, finish.

"Mystery-bulge bloggers argue that the president may have begun using such technology earlier in his term. Because Bush is famously prone to malapropisms and reportedly dyslexic, which could make successful use of a teleprompter problematic, they say the president and his handlers may have turned to a technique often used by television reporters on remote stand-ups. A reporter tapes a story and, while on camera, plays it back into an earpiece, repeating lines just after hearing them, managing to sound spontaneous and error free.

"As for whether we really do have a Milli Vanilli president, the answer at this point has to be, God only knows." [Salon.com]

In my opinion, it does not matter if he is wired or not. The basic questions for me are: Can he govern wisely or not?

Is he the good leader America wants?

Being on a teleprompter or getting wired are perks of being an incumbent, I guess.

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