Please. Don’t tell anyone. I’m going to take a nap this afternoon so I can stay awake to see George Bush’s farewell address to the nation tonight. What a hoot! Wonder if it will be in a format and venue like American Idol? Oh well. At least by speaking at 8 p.m. he won’t preempt The Office.
And American presidents (with the exception of Tricky Dick) don’t just fade away. They like to opine before leaving office. And if it was good enough for George Washington, I guess we can’t deny George W. the opportunity. Note to W.: Washington said something about avoiding foreign entanglements. Oh well.
Actually, I am reminded of an idea I heard about a few years ago. It may have been on Saturday Night Live. Or maybe not. In any event, it was the proposal to require public officials to participate in a “swearing out” ceremony before leaving office. It would be organized something like this:
“Get the f*** out of here.”
Since we haven’t adopted that approach as yet, I guess we’re stuck with the TV address. Here’s Gail Collins, writing in The New York Times this morning, “He’s Leaving. Really”:
The White House has promised that in his final address, the president will be joined by a small group of everyday American heroes, which means that the only person on stage with a history of failing to perform well in moments of stress will be the main speaker.
Bush is going to devote some of his time to defending his record, although there has been quite a bit of that already. Over the last few weeks we have learned that he thinks the Katrina response worked out rather well except for one unfortunate photo-op, and that he regards the fact that we invaded another country on the basis of false information as a “disappointment.” Since Bush also referred to the disappointments of his White House tenure as “a minor irritant” it’s perhaps best to think of the weapons of mass destruction debacle as a pimple on the administration’s otherwise rosy complexion.
My advice to W. Don’t labor over the talk. Consider it the equivalent of a college commencement address. Keep it short and pithy. No one really pays attention to or remembers commencement addresses either.
So here is my suggested text for your remarks.
Just smile and say: “My bad.”
That should just about cover everything.
And it won’t delay the start of The Office.