Last week, a few blogs picked up on this video of President Bush speaking “off the record” at a Houston fundraiser. The President talks about Wall Street being “drunk” and waiting to “sober up” to illustrate economic woes. “That’s why I asked you to turn your television cameras off,” he quips, apparently unaware that a small camcorder is recording him.
It may not be a White House leak, but it is certainly a good video for the President. He shows the personal side and sense of humor and humanity that made it easy for Americans to rally behind him in the years following September 11.
This video may not have gotten enough coverage to cause any bump in W’s approval ratings – and even if it did, it’s too little too late. If Bush had maintained this kind of visibility in his second term, though, his approval ratings might not be setting record lows. Bush’s strength has always been his ability to connect with and earn the trust of the populace – on a personal level.
This was the President America had hoped to see when they re-elected him in 2004. In this video, he demonstrated an understanding of the challenges facing average Americans – and the role of Wall Street excesses, which is something Republicans are reluctant to admit. But Bush does it in an effective way – he gives a roadmap through the current economic crisis without calling for big-government regulations that would probably only make things worse.
It’s just too bad we haven’t seen this President for the last four years.