Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
There are a number of theories around about the origin of Bush's halting, labored speech pattern; suggestions have included genetics, neurological dysfunction, years of alcoholism, continuing alcoholism (my personal greatest hope for Josh Marshall's shuffling of the tectonic plates, by the way) and an attempt to control a stuttering problem (I can't remember where I read that last one, but it was from a former stutterer who claimed to recognize the tactic).
Another idea occurred to me in reading Billmon's piece about the right's hijacking of the idea of class warfare:
Bush Sr.'s decision to transplant the clan to Texas may have come too late to remove the elitist taint from his own narrow shoulders, but the son - with a little coaching - definitely has been able to take on a lot more of the local coloration. Shrub's not nearly the phony his Dad was in '88, although his preppie roots occasionally show through from time to time.This suggests that at least part of Bush's problem may just be faking his Texas accent. Supposedly there's film or video of him from around 1990, with a much less prominent accent. Which in turn suggests a campaign surrogate idea: start in on Bush being a phony Texan with a phony accent. It makes a semi-substantive point; it invites the listener to listen to his manner, rather than his words, which is probably a benefit; and if you can get Bush trying to monitor his every syllable, he might just lock up in a self-observing loop and be unable to speak.