George W. Bush Stumps At NAA p.13

By: Robert Neuwirth Sounding more like a candidate for the White House than the governor's mansion, Texas Gov. George W. Bush got a warm welcome at the Newspaper Association of America convention in Dallas. Sweeping his arms to indicate the publishers on the dais behind him, Bush said, "It kind of feels like I'm sitting on the Politburo of the Newspaper Association of America."
Bush, seeking re-election as governor, then launched into a speech that made significant reference to President Bill Clinton without mentioning him by name. "Unlike some folks in the political process," he said, "I had a job before I got into this, and I'll have a job after I leave."
Bush criticized politicians ? and by extension the press ? for being addicted to polls. "Good long-term policy cannot come from sticking your finger into the wind," Bush said. Quoting Harry Truman, he questioned, "How far would Moses have gone if he'd taken a poll in Egypt?" Bush said that he has conducted one poll since his election almost four years ago.
Asked by convention chairman and Dallas Morning News publisher Burl Osborne about his presidential aspirations, Bush said he was far from making a decision and intended to concentrate on his re-election, adding, "I'm flattered by the speculation," he said.
Bush, touting his plan to revamp Texas public education, declared, "I see the old educational oligarchy crumbling. I see an education system that more closely resembles a cottage industry." The state should be "the principal funder of the schools," without adding unwieldy bureaucracy, he said, calling local decision-making "the best way to chart a path to excellence." He expressed support for a pilot voucher program so parents can use state and local money for private school tuition. "The idea has got merit and it ought to be tried ? provided that the school is willing to participate in the accountability program of our state."
Though his speech ignored the subject, Bush was asked afterward to characterize his relationship with the press: "I actually like newspapers," he said. "It's a symbiotic relationship. Without the media, I wouldn't be able to get my message out.
?(E&P Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher April 25, 1998) [Caption]


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here