More George W. Bushisms: More of Slate's Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Most of you probably didn't know that I have a new book out. Some guy put together a collection of my wit and wisdom -- or, as he calls it, my accidental wit and wisdom. [Laughter] But I'm kind of proud that my words are already in book form."
-- President George W. Bush,
discussing and reading from George W. Bushisms
By now, most of you probably do know about George W. Bushisms, the bestselling collection ...
See more details below
More George W. Bushisms: More of Slate's Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President

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Overview

"Most of you probably didn't know that I have a new book out. Some guy put together a collection of my wit and wisdom -- or, as he calls it, my accidental wit and wisdom. [Laughter] But I'm kind of proud that my words are already in book form."
-- President George W. Bush,
discussing and reading from George W. Bushisms
By now, most of you probably do know about George W. Bushisms, the bestselling collection of misstatements made on the campaign trail by our president. Now, in More George W. Bushisms, Jacob Weisberg reveals that the malapropisms didn't stop on Inauguration Day:
"I've coined new words like misunderstanding and Hispanically."
"I haven't had a chance to talk, but I'm confident we'll get a bill that I can live with if we don't."
"Our nation must come together to unite."
"There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead."

These and many other presidential pearls are hilariously on display in More George W. Bushisms.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Follow a man around with a tape recorder long enough and he will say ridiculous things. If he is George W. Bush, to judge by this collection of verbal gaffes, he will say many ridiculous things-some funny ("It's about past seven in the evening here so we're actually in different time lines";) some callow ("This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating"); some mysterious ("We'll be a country where the fabrics are made up of groups and loving centers"); but most just embarrassing ("Of all states that understands local control of schools, Iowa is such a state"). Undoubtedly Bush struggles to "express himself with clarity and coherence," in the words of Garry Trudeau's foreword, but the tacit corollary-that he is a fool and unfit for the presidency-is not demonstrated here. While the characteristic "Bushisms" on display-stammering, misstatements, stubborn disagreements between subject and verb-may hint at the President's rumored dyslexia, mostly they portray a man whose limited rhetorical gifts cannot stand up to the 24/7 media glare. Defensive Bush supporters will find this an endearing proof of his authenticity; his detractors will laugh heartily but should, of course, look elsewhere for a substantive critique. B&w photos. (Nov. 5) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743233880
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 11/5/2002
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Jacob Weisberg is the editor of Slate magazine and three previous editions of Bushisms. He lives in New York City.
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Read an Excerpt


Introduction: The Year in Bushisms

The predecessor to this volume was published in January 2001, during the brief interval between coronation and inauguration. The book began to sell, George W. Bush was sworn in, and I continued to wonder about one question: How did Bush feel about Bushisms? Was he chuckling along, Reagan-style, or percolating with Nixonian rage?

My puzzlement came to an end a few months later at the White House Correspondents Dinner when the president fulfilled my authorial fantasy by waving Slate's book of George W. Bushisms at 1,500 reporters. "Most of you probably didn't know that I have a new book out," he exclaimed, before launching into a reading. Repeating his line, "I believe the human being and fish can coexist peacefully," the president declared: "Anyone can give you a coherent sentence, but something like this takes you into an entirely new dimension." Bush recited several other classics ("make the pie higher," "more and more of our imports come from overseas"), before commending himself again. "Now, ladies and gentlemen, you have to admit, in my sentences I go where no man has gone before," he said.

The performance was, as the president likes to say, fabulous! Bill Clinton used to show up at these events and self-deprecate through clenched teeth. But Bush wasn't just rolling with the punches, he was running with them. If our president was an international laughingstock, he was at least a laughing laughingstock. Of course, W. being W., he committed a Bushism or two while discussing Bushisms. "I've coined new words, like, 'misunderstanding' and 'Hispanically,'" he noted. I believe he intended to say "misunderestimate," one of his signatures, but believing that to be an actual word, he was temporarily boggled by his own prepared text. So what do you call it when Bush, attempting a Bushism, stumbles and accidentally uses a word correctly? A reverse Bushism? A Bushismism?

In any case, it was impossible not to reciprocate this display of presidential goodwill. I soon found myself paroling Bushisms that might be excused as mere quirks of West Texas dialect, such as "nucular" for "nuclear," "tireously" for "tirelessly," "explayed" for "displayed," and, in what sounded like a kind of Tex-Mex omelet, "Infitada," for "Intifada." I let Bush's waving to Stevie Wonder at a concert -- a visual Bushism, you had to see it to appreciate it -- pass without comment.

When Bush sent the yen plunging by saying he'd spoken with the Japanese prime minister about "devaluation" (he was supposed to say "deflation"), I let it slide. And when he provoked a diplomatic crisis by accusing North Korea of violating agreements on nuclear weapons (there's only one agreement and no evidence of North Korea breaking it), that passed unmentioned as well. Surely, as one White House spinner proposed, the president was referring to possible future agreements that North Korea might sign and then violate. I found you could explain away a lot of slips once you bought into the notion that, as one aide put it, that's just how the president speaks.

After September 11, I stopped publishing Bushisms in Slate. This decision provoked considerable complaint from readers. Bush had urged the nation to get back to normal. What could be more normal than making fun of W.? Who was I to violate a presidential directive? My feeling, though, was that Bushisms had ceased to be funny. If the commander-in-chief was indeed a few bricks short of a load, we'd all better shut up about it and pray Dick Cheney was ordering the salmon. I figured I'd wait until The Evil One had been finished off, then get back to my collection. But six months on, Osama bin Laden was no longer much discussed, at least in Republican circles. And I had to admit, I was finding the Bushisms that readers and friends continued to send in funny again. So Slate's "Bushism of the Day" feature came back to life.

My job had not gotten any easier during the interim. Under the ever-watchful eyes of Karen Hughes and Karl Rove, the war-president was speaking in public less frequently and less spontaneously. The image team was no longer turning him loose on audiences with five hours sleep and no prepared text. In another blow, the White House Press Office began cleaning up its official transcripts of the president's remarks. I was no longer traveling with the president and depended on the verbatim accuracy of these accounts. If Bush said something about people working hard to put food on their families or removing the federal cuff link, would I even hear about it?

Happily, I still have my sources. Karen has gone home to Texas. And, despite Karl's best efforts, there are still those magical days when the president, without enough sleep or exercise, staggers out onto the White House lawn, searches in vain for a TelePrompTer, squints at the distant horizon, and opens his mouth. "And so, in my State of the -- my State of the Union -- or state -- my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation -- I asked Americans to give 4,000 years -- 4,000 hours over the next -- the rest of your life -- of service to America. That's what I asked -- 4,000 hours." If I miss one of these moments, a helpful colleague in attendance or an alert Slate reader tuned in to C-Span generally brings it to my attention.

Back to you, Mr. President.

Copyright © 2002 by Jacob Weisberg.

Foreword copyright © 2002 by Garry Trudeau

FOREWORD BY GARRY TRUDEAU

While a great deal of thought and care has gone into the creation of this little volume, it is altogether fitting that none of it was by its author. That credit falls to the book's editor, Jacob Weisberg, whose unmatched bona fides as a curator of Bush family utterances extend back more than a decade. Weisberg cut his fangs on Bush pere, whose malapropisms he tracked as a lowly editorial assistant on 1992's Bushisms: President George Herbert Walker Bush, In His Own Words. That collection quickly died in the bookstores, but since it was published shortly before Bush senior tanked in the general election, Weisberg -- correctly, in my judgment -- was not held directly responsible. Thus, when George W. Bush suddenly emerged a few years later, making even less sense than his father, Weisberg was uniquely positioned, like an Arabic-speaking CIA agent on September 12. He immediately volunteered his services to Michael Kinsley, his editor at Slate, offering to set up a kind of conservatory for second wave Bushisms. Kinsley, famously supportive of folk art generally and outsider prose in particular, quickly signed off on the archival feature from which this collection -- and its bestselling predecessor -- is drawn.

Weisberg is the first to admit that, in cataloging and documenting Bushisms, he has had many enablers. Since his other duties at Slate precluded his being everywhere the president appeared in public, he has counted heavily on a posse of like-minded aficionados -- editors, reporters, and amateur collectors -- to send in Bushisms from the field not for recognition or monetary gain but out of love for the idiom. For this reason, this book is essentially a connoisseur's collection, created, as many Web-based projects are, out of the shared affection and labor of a few devoted souls -- in this case, the tightly knit Bushism community.

Their work has not always been easy. The White House now scrubs presidential transcripts clean of the more delightful gaffes, and members of self-selecting, partisan audiences cannot be relied on to faithfully report utterances that might alarm the rest of the country. Even if they were so inclined, like eyewitnesses at accidents, they would be unlikely to agree on exactly what happened the moment the president's train of thought flew off the rails. Some things Bush says simply defy reconstruction.

Of course, the president is now more disciplined, winging it far less, staying on TelePrompTer and thus mostly out of trouble. And yet there are moments when Bush cannot help being himself, when he feels so overcome with exuberance, so in "wings-take-dreams" mode, that he will tear his eyes from his text and say things like: "We'll be a country where the fabrics are made up of group and loving centers." Or: "The way I like to put it is this. There's no bigger issue for the president to remind the moms and dads of America, if you happen to have a child, be fortunate to have a child."

That Bush risks going off-book at all is not because he forgets about his peculiar verbal disability. It's because it never occurs to him that it might be important for the Leader of the Free World to express himself with clarity and coherence. Just as the mark of the educated man is a humbling awareness of how little he knows (thus the signature insecurity of professors), the most salient feature of the unschooled is cluelessness, the inability to grasp one's own condition. Bush is plenty smart -- and he's technically educated -- but because of his natural incuriosity about the wider world, Bush has fought a crippling, lifelong battle with ignorance. That he so frequently tells the public he "understands" such-and-such a problem has nothing to do with empathy -- it's about reassurance. Don't worry, he seems to say, I really am on top of things; I only talk this way because I'm real.

Or to quote him directly: "I admit it, I am not one of the great linguists."

Enjoy.

Copyright © 2002 by Jacob Weisberg.

Foreword copyright © 2002 by Garry Trudeau

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Introduction: The Year in Bushisms

The predecessor to this volume was published in January 2001, during the brief interval between coronation and inauguration. The book began to sell, George W. Bush was sworn in, and I continued to wonder about one question: How did Bush feel about Bushisms? Was he chuckling along, Reagan-style, or percolating with Nixonian rage?

My puzzlement came to an end a few months later at the White House Correspondents Dinner when the president fulfilled my authorial fantasy by waving Slate's book of George W. Bushisms at 1,500 reporters. "Most of you probably didn't know that I have a new book out," he exclaimed, before launching into a reading. Repeating his line, "I believe the human being and fish can coexist peacefully," the president declared: "Anyone can give you a coherent sentence, but something like this takes you into an entirely new dimension." Bush recited several other classics ("make the pie higher," "more and more of our imports come from overseas"), before commending himself again. "Now, ladies and gentlemen, you have to admit, in my sentences I go where no man has gone before," he said.

The performance was, as the president likes to say, fabulous! Bill Clinton used to show up at these events and self-deprecate through clenched teeth. But Bush wasn't just rolling with the punches, he was running with them. If our president was an international laughingstock, he was at least a laughing laughingstock. Of course, W. being W., he committed a Bushism or two while discussing Bushisms. "I've coined new words, like, 'misunderstanding' and 'Hispanically,'" he noted. I believe he intended to say "misunderestimate," one of his signatures, but believing that to be an actual word, he was temporarily boggled by his own prepared text. So what do you call it when Bush, attempting a Bushism, stumbles and accidentally uses a word correctly? A reverse Bushism? A Bushismism?

In any case, it was impossible not to reciprocate this display of presidential goodwill. I soon found myself paroling Bushisms that might be excused as mere quirks of West Texas dialect, such as "nucular" for "nuclear," "tireously" for "tirelessly," "explayed" for "displayed," and, in what sounded like a kind of Tex-Mex omelet, "Infitada," for "Intifada." I let Bush's waving to Stevie Wonder at a concert -- a visual Bushism, you had to see it to appreciate it -- pass without comment.

When Bush sent the yen plunging by saying he'd spoken with the Japanese prime minister about "devaluation" (he was supposed to say "deflation"), I let it slide. And when he provoked a diplomatic crisis by accusing North Korea of violating agreements on nuclear weapons (there's only one agreement and no evidence of North Korea breaking it), that passed unmentioned as well. Surely, as one White House spinner proposed, the president was referring to possible future agreements that North Korea might sign and then violate. I found you could explain away a lot of slips once you bought into the notion that, as one aide put it, that's just how the president speaks.

After September 11, I stopped publishing Bushisms in Slate. This decision provoked considerable complaint from readers. Bush had urged the nation to get back to normal. What could be more normal than making fun of W.? Who was I to violate a presidential directive? My feeling, though, was that Bushisms had ceased to be funny. If the commander-in-chief was indeed a few bricks short of a load, we'd all better shut up about it and pray Dick Cheney was ordering the salmon. I figured I'd wait until The Evil One had been finished off, then get back to my collection. But six months on, Osama bin Laden was no longer much discussed, at least in Republican circles. And I had to admit, I was finding the Bushisms that readers and friends continued to send in funny again. So Slate's "Bushism of the Day" feature came back to life.

My job had not gotten any easier during the interim. Under the ever-watchful eyes of Karen Hughes and Karl Rove, the war-president was speaking in public less frequently and less spontaneously. The image team was no longer turning him loose on audiences with five hours sleep and no prepared text. In another blow, the White House Press Office began cleaning up its official transcripts of the president's remarks. I was no longer traveling with the president and depended on the verbatim accuracy of these accounts. If Bush said something about people working hard to put food on their families or removing the federal cuff link, would I even hear about it?

Happily, I still have my sources. Karen has gone home to Texas. And, despite Karl's best efforts, there are still those magical days when the president, without enough sleep or exercise, staggers out onto the White House lawn, searches in vain for a TelePrompTer, squints at the distant horizon, and opens his mouth. "And so, in my State of the -- my State of the Union -- or state -- my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation -- I asked Americans to give 4,000 years -- 4,000 hours over the next -- the rest of your life -- of service to America. That's what I asked -- 4,000 hours." If I miss one of these moments, a helpful colleague in attendance or an alert Slate reader tuned in to C-Span generally brings it to my attention.

Back to you, Mr. President.

Copyright © 2002 by Jacob Weisberg.
Foreword copyright © 2002 by Garry Trudeau

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2003

    May not speak eloquently, but he does deliver....

    His statements are hilarious, yet the fascinating thing is that they are sincere. Regardless, if you are on the left or right, one thing is clear: He does deliver.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2003

    President Bush struggles to get through the day

    Yeah right. Many of us knew a person like W. in school, but perhaps didn't imagine him as President. Is this a crazy world or what?!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    Fearless and Funny, Respectable and Right.

    This book is concerning a real man, an outstanding leader and a guy who isn't a snob. He's fun and honest. Give us More of George W. He is going to be one of the most beloved presidents we have ever had, and one of the reasons is his tendency to turn mundane comments into stand-up comedy, and still get the true meaning of his message across. Love it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2003

    Re-Election

    This is a great book. The sad thing is they were able to create two of these excellent books in Bush's one term in office! People defending Bush will still not take his obvious idiocy as proof that he is not fit for office. He may still be re-elected in '04.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    Will it do any good?

    I am of the impression that the people of this country want a President of this caliber. Otherwise, he would not have been elected. It is apparent that we want someone of this magnitude; especially when people of Condi Rice and Colin Powell's stature don't mind working under such an idiot. The American people have no one to blame but themselves for electing a character such as 'Dubya'. Politics is just like the entertainment industry. We will applaud the most mediocre and place them on high. The most deserving never attain the position they are truly worthy of.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2003

    Would be funny if...

    This book should be required reading for all Americans eligible to vote. It would be hilarious but for one important fact: this man is supposed to be the President of the United States. Shouldn't we have a leader who CAN speak eloquently and express himself with a fraction of intelligence? Does this man inspire confidence in our country's leadership? Those who would say that these foibles prove Bush is an ¿ordinary guy¿ and find his misstatements ¿endearing¿ should remember that we are talking about the President of the United States. Shouldn't we expect more from our leaders?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2003

    I still can't believe he is President

    This book is excellent, they should turn it into a movie, 'Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2003

    A Very Funny Book!

    Imagine having every word you say captured by dozens of reporters! We would all sound incredibly stupid too! Realizing this fact is what makes this book so very funny. I'm glad the president has a sense of humor and humility to laugh at himself. This book is not about stupidity, it is about being human and forced to speak all day. For those without humor who see this as proof that our president is an idiot, I ask that they spend a week taping their conversations. What you say during that time will be just as hilariously stupid too. Finally, I just wish to say that the college students that have written such scathing things about the president based on this book should recognize that books need to be read in context, just as an Adam Sandler comedy needs to be watched as a comedy - lighten up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2003

    Funniest thing since Dan Quayle

    Browsing this book, is hillarious. The images truly reflect how dumbfounded this man is. One thing that is not so hillarious is how he has single handily made our Country go to hell while he's been in office. For all you Bush supporters,sattle yourself up partners, and enjoy him why you can. He'll be gone in 2004.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2003

    no you are the idiot

    I have only one question for you. How does a president who has stripped us of most of our supposedly unalienable rights, support freedom? I agree that the previous commentor might be a little naive about the situation, but I think that anyone who blindly supports Bush as you do, is obviously much more naive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2003

    This Book is Hilarious

    Reading the vocal mishaps of our current president is both hilarious and appalling. I can't believe a guy who recieved a Bachelors from Yale can be so bad at phonics. As for the first reviewer, I fully support what he says about him supporting terrorism through the Israelis. All those bills to help his multi-million/billion dollar buddies are nice too. If he really supported freedom, he wouldn't have started a government program that does nothing more than legalize racial profiling throughout the nation. Thanks Bush, you're the man!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2002

    I agree with the student.

    The only morons are those who voted for Bush. A terrorist if I ever saw one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2003

    wow

    this book is the greatest thing i have ever read.... it is also the funniest. reading it makes me wonder how bush became our president.... i recommend it for anyone (except for those in favor of Bush- well even for thoose people i recommend it, for then they will truly realize what they did electing him.) buy it. its great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2002

    BUSH IS AN IDIOT

    I think that our president is a seriously screwed up man. He is destroying everthing that every other good leader of ours has ever worked towards. He supports terrorists (i.e. the Israeli occupation), has destroyed countless habitat regions (hello, Alaska should NOT be drilled!), has cut funding for schools, healthcare, women's right to choose organizations, homosexual organizations, environmental causes, alternate energy source research, etc., etc. He has also dropped bombs on thousands of cities, killing innocent women, men, children, and animals in what he calls "collateral damage." Are we supposed to start thinking of our fellow human beings as "collateral damage" items? What the hell is going on here? Did we really elect this wacko? NO! He bought, bribed, and stole his way into the presidency. As for the Gore fans who blame Nader for causing Gore to lose- stop yelling at Nader, you should be mad at Bush!!! Anyway, that's just a sampling of what I have to say about that ;) Just wasting the time away here at school.. ;)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2003

    Bush vs Clinton

    Your right, you are an idiot. Compare Clinton's sex scandal (not the first president to make it in the oval office, huh Mr. John Kennedy with Marilynn Monroe??!!) to Bush trying to kill millions of American's and Non-American's. What do you choose, personnally a little sex in the White House sounds pretty good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    that reviewer is an idiot

    the person who just reviewed this is a moron... what the heck, talk about a redneck.... bush is a good man, and he does not support terrorists. he supports freedom

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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