"My thoughts are, we're going to get somebody who knows what they're talking about when it comes to rebuilding cities." -- On how the rebuilding of New Orleans might commence, Biloxi, Miss., Sept. 2, 2005
What's odd, funny, mangled, or at all Bushism-worthy about this quote? Bush was asked how New Orleans should be rebuilt in the long term. That's a difficult and technical question, and one that's not easy to answer right now, especially when one is the President rather than a professional urban planner. So the President gave a perfectly sensible answer, and said that he'll figure out what the experts say. Here's the context (to Slate's credit, they now provide a link to the video, but here I quote the official transcript):
Q Mr. President, I realize the first priority is, obviously, saving lives. But let me ask you about long-term planning in New Orleans. There are some who are starting to say that since we're going to be spending billions in tax dollars to rebuild that great city, that we might want to think about building it in such a way where it's not below sea level again, whether it's somehow moved around or relocated or moved up. What are your thoughts on that?
THE PRESIDENT: My thoughts are, we're going to get somebody who knows what they're talking about when it comes to rebuilding cities. I'm going to delegate. I'm going to call upon the best experts, starting with the people of New Orleans, and get opinions as we work with the local folks. We're going to help people rebuild, Stretch. That's what we're going to do. And we're going to listen to people who know what they're doing. . . .
Why is this worth mockery or condemnation (presumably the main theme of Bushisms, as the column's compiler himself seems to suggest)?
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