Victory in Hand, the President Meets the Press

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By: E&P Staff

One day after winning re-election, President Bush held a rare press conference. With the campaign pressure off, and with neither “side” having to worry about an embarrassing flub, the president and the press pack enjoyed a little bantering.

“I want to thank you all for your hard work in the campaign,” Bush informed the reporters. “I told you that the other day, and you probably thought I was just seeking votes.” This provoked general laughter.

“But now that you voted. … I really meant it. I appreciate the hard work of the press corps. We all put in long hours, and you were away from your families for a long period of time. But the country’s better off when we have a vigorous and free press covering our elections, and thanks for your work.

“With that overt pandering, I’ll answer a few questions.”

The first query, related to Iraq, was in the usual three parts.

“Now that I’ve got the will of the people at my back, I’m going to start enforcing the one-question rule,” Bush responded. “That was three questions.” More laughter.

Not much later, another multi-part query came.

“Again, he violated the one-question rule right off the bat,” Bush said. “Obviously you didn’t listen to the will of the people.”

Later, a reporter asked if the president felt “more free” to act now.

“Oh, in terms of feeling free: Well, I don’t think you’ll let me be too free,” he said. “There is, there’s accountability, and there are constraints on the presidency, as there should be in any system.

“Listen, thank you,” he concluded. “I look forward to working with you.

“I’ve got a question for you: How many of you are going to be here for a second term, please raise your hand? Gosh, we’re going to have a lot of fun then. Thank you all.”

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