Bush Seeks to Define Campaign

The following are excerpts from the President's remarks to the press following his meeting with Carliko Fortiguejerke, Prime Minister of Fjorkistan.

"...and in closing, I want to say to all Americans, that we need to stay the course. After four years more in this office I want people to look back and say, The world is a more peaceful place. Four more years and America will be safer and the world will be more peaceful."

"I want to thank Prime Minister Fortiguejerke for his commitment to the Coalition of the Willing by supplying two dozen snowshoe experts to help train our troops."

"Now, I'm gonna get out of town for a few days, going to head on down to Crawford. Democrat convention coming up, so it's a good time for a little rest and relaxation. Because after next week, I am committed to working non-stop until November 2nd, working for the American people. Now probably around November 3rd I'll be taking a few weeks off to savor the sweet fruits of victory, but this is going to be my last vacation until then. Now, I'll take a few questions. Bill."

Q: Mister President, now that the gay marriage amendment has been shut down, do you see yourself trying to resurrect if you have a second term?"

Bush: Have to wait and see, elections coming up, a few more good people make it into the Senate, we'll see what we can do.

Q: Mister President, it's now mid-July, and you still haven't outlined any sort of an agenda for a second term. Do you intend to do so before the Republican convention?

Bush: I want to thank you for your question, Jack, because it gives me an opportunity to talk about something that's been on my mind lately. First off, I've got to point out that I do indeed have an agenda and I talk about it all the time. It's called staying the course. If you think that the economy is going in the right direction, that the war on terror is going in the right direction, and that the American people care more about core values than anytime in the recent past, then I think staying the course is what you want to do. I bet you like that tax cut I gave you, huh?

Q: Mister President, I...

Bush: No, hold on, let me finish. I'm a straight talker, and I want to say something straight. Some folks, Democrats especially, have been quick to point out that I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. Well, they've got a point. They do. I might not be the very best president you've ever seen. I'm certainly no Kennedy or Reagan. But I'm no Jimmy Carter or Bush I either. I'm kind of a mediocre president. Now, I've got a question. Helen, mind if I pick on you for a minute?

Helen: Go ahead, Mister President.

Bush: Do you like lobster? You know, do you like to eat lobster?

Helen: Well, yes Mister President.

Bush: Course you do. How about steak? Do you like to sit on down and bite into a big juicy steak, fresh off the grill?

Helen: Absolutely, Mister President. Are you inviting me for dinner?

Bush: No, Helen, just trying to make a point. Here's what I'm saying. If someone offers you a choice between a steak and a lobster, that's a real good choice. You can't lose. I mean, you might say to yourself, that's one fine looking steak, I wish I'd chosen it instead. But you're not going to feel deprived. Know what I mean?

Helen: Uhhh...

Bush: Let me break it down a little more. Elections are like dinner. You're very rarely going to get a choice between a steak and a lobster. If you're lucky, you're going to get a choice between a steak and a hamburger. And if you're like most folks - and let me pick on you now Andy - which are you going to choose?

Andy: The steak, Mister President.

Bush: That's right, Andy, the steak. Although that's not universally true. Some people just like the taste of hamburgers. A hamburger can be awfully good. I don't know if any of you all have ever eaten at Fudruckers, they serve a heck of a burger. But like Andy said, most people are going to choose the steak.

Andy: Sir, are you saying that you are a steak...

Bush: Hold on, you're getting ahead of me. America likes straight talk, and that's what I'm trying to deliver. I told you I wasn't the greatest president of all times. I'm the hamburger. A big juicy delicious eight ounce hamburger, maybe pop a couple slices of hickory smoked bacon on there, some cheddar cheese, and all the toppings. Don't forget that sesame seed bun.

Q: So you're saying that your opponent, Senator Kerry, is a steak.

Bush: Not on your life. Not on your life. I'm not through with my metaphor yet. Now, Senator Kerry is a fine man, a respectable man, he's served his country well. I am not going to stand here and call him a Brussels sprout. He's better than that. Walter Mondale was a Brussels sprout. That guy - the one with the glue sniffing wife - he was a Brussels sprout. And you sure wouldn't chose a Brussels sprout over a hamburger, much less a steak. That's why President Reagan had such an easy time in '84. Steak verses Brussels sprout. No competition. Well, there are no Brussels sprouts in this election.

Q: What about Ralph Nader?

Bush: Well, you're right Ed, he is a Brussels sprout. I hadn't thought about that. Not that there's anything wrong with that. As a matter of fact, we're hoping that a lot of our friends in the Democratic party choose to eat what's good for them this year.

Q: Sir, if Senator Kerry is not a Brussels sprout, and he is not a steak, are we to infer that he is, in fact, another hamburger.

Bush: Nope, not at all. You've got to remember what this election is all about. It's about choice. Senator Kerry is a hot dog.

Q: A hot dog, sir?

Bush: That's right. Nothing wrong with hot dogs. Hot dogs can be right delicious if you're in the mood. Slather some of that Grey Poupon on em, some onions... I'll tell you something, in the last election, there were a lot of people who thought I was the hot dog, but I turned out to be the hamburger.

Q: So our choice this year is between a hot dog and a hamburger?

Bush: I don't think it's that difficult a decision. You've got to keep in mind that the hamburger is America's favorite sandwich. At it's very worst, it's still pretty darn good. A hot dog, though, trouble is, you never know what's inside of them. Maybe it's good, but maybe it's all full of intestines and snouts and things you don't even want to think about. So I suspect that America will make the right decision. The stable, dependable hamburger that will stay the course, or the questionable hot dog that could contain just about anything. Thank you all for coming.

 

2004, Mark Hoback