Gawker’s Nick Denton has a new site called Wonkette that serves as “an online roundup of gossip from Washington, DC and the US political arena.” They’ve sent a lot of traffic my way this morning, thanks to a link to my debate roundup and links by Glenn Reynolds, Jeff Jarvis, Kevin Aylward and, presumably others.

Ana Marie Cox, the site’s author, quotes President Bush, who was apparently dining at a rib joint somewhere:

Let me explain how the economy works. When you spend money to buy food it helps this lady’s business. It makes it more likely somebody is going to find work. So instead of asking questions, answer mine: are you going to buy some food?

The Wonkette take :

Yes, everyone, it’s very funny that the President is such a rib-focused guy. But we all knew he was a man with a laser-like ability to focus on a single issue for seconds at time; it’s a pleasant surprise to find he can do so for the length of an entire conversation. In any case, what’s really worrisome about the “Remarks to the President to the Press Pool” (I have about 165 copies, thanks everyone.) isn’t the ribs thing: It’s that the world’s largest economy is in the hands of someone whose grasp of fiduciary theory can essentially be reduced to “I have two apples. If I take one apple and give it to you. . .”

Actually, that precisely misses the point: The world’s largest economy is not in the hands of one man. Indeed, it actually is in the collective hands of people who buy ribs, own rib joints, drive trucks to deliver the ribs, manufacture barbecue sauce, ranch the cattle and farm the pigs who give their lives so that we might barbecue them, and so on.

Plus, the whole transcript is just hilarious. He’s having great fun at the expense of the assembled reporters:

Obviously these people — they make a lot of money and they’re not going to spend much. I’m not saying they’re overpaid, they’re just not spending any money.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Brian Drozd says:

    I’m not quite sure I understand the Wonkette take. What does this ‘apples’ nonsense have to do with what the President said? Where did he say anything about ‘giving’ away anything? What’s wrong about what he said?

  2. jen says:

    James, I thought his whole deal with the press was hilarious. They deserve a little poking once in a while – reminders that they are citizens like the rest of the masses they don’t seem to get.

  3. craig henry says:

    Boy am i glad for the Wonkette. Because, you know, the blogosphere had a severe shortage of snarkiness and sarcasm.

  4. McGehee says:

    Brian, the Wonkette is indulging in the usual attempt to marginalize Bush as a simpleton. It’s just meaningless background noise from someone who can’t deal with a President who can explain effectively to ordinary people what media elites have to work very hard to misunderstand.

  5. Boyd says:

    I chuckled my way through that transcript, even though I’d seen most of it on the news yesterday. This exchange just goes to show that many reporters are very good at asking questions, but they need a little work on listening to the answers.