I actually totally forgot about the speech and was off doing other things. An OTB regular informed me by telephone that it was quite good if longish. Glenn wasn’t impressed with the speech and hated the plane landing gimmick. So far, his e-mailers and Jeff Jarvis disagree. Glenn provides a link to a transcript of the speech plus the Jarvis reference. I’ll try to catch a replay before turning in and may weigh in on it tomorrow.

I liked the plane flying thing but must admit I’d have hated, hell resented, it if Clinton had done it. Granted, Clinton was a draft dodging weasel. But Bush’s military record isn’t exactly sterling, jet pilot training or no.

Update: (12:26 5-2-03): Video feed of the speech is up on FoxNews. What I’ve seen so far looks quite good.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. PoliBlogger says:

    I was thinking about the Clinton angle myself. And the reason we all would have reacted to Clinton doing something like this is because we are assuming (rightly, btw) that had Clinton done something like this, it would have been all hype for no reason. In this case, it was hype, but with cause–we did win a stunning victory, which allows the President the right to some hype. If Clinton had ever lived up to his own rhetoric, (such as his anemic “war on terror”) then we might’ve been able to celebrate (or, at least tolerate) Clinton doing something like this. Of course, we all know that Clinton would never have been able to been this successful or genuine, hence the knowledge we would have been pissed.

    Also, I think that Bush and the troops have a genuine mutual affection that justifies some of this.

  2. Luigi says:

    I was trying to figure out why it was so distasteful, other than the obvious showboating. I guess it reminds me way too much of Saddam firing off that rifle from the balcony – someone at another blog described it as reminiscent of some third world dictator playing with his new toys. I’m afraid the Prez is on the way to single-handedly bringing back the term “Bush-league”.

  3. Robin Roberts says:

    If you look at it from the point of view of the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln, I think you would see that it gave them a large thrill. For all the sneers at President Bush’s time in the air national guard, the troops have a lot of respect for him.

  4. Eric Dunn says:

    I think it was great. I saw a sincere man, with the full support of every breathing soul on the ship. He did that for the Navy, also.

    This was his first trip to a ship at sea (info taken from a radio show, so take that with a grain of salt). In any case, the Lincoln was out there for ten months. That’s a long time to be at sea, and at least the crew will have a heckuva long shore leave.

    I think people need to step back a moment from the cynicism. It may just be that he wasn’t even thinking of photo-ops when he made the decision, but rather was making a multi-layered statement.

    “I support our troops. Enemy nations need to be reminded just how powerful our carriers are. Oh, and btw, we WON! And don’t forget it.”

  5. PoliBlogger says:

    I think he was thinking of photo-ops, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. One of the advantages of being President is that you get to do Presidential things that will help you get re-elected or otherwise create political capital.

    It is the nature of the beast, and that beast is politics.

  6. David Kutzler says:

    For a somewhat different perspective on our President’s carrier landing and speech, have a look at what they’re saying over at Democratic Underground.


  7. John Lemon says:

    Hey, the perks of the jobs folks. If I was president would I want to fly a jet? No, but I’m generally not very fond of flying. But if I did like flying, hell yeah! Why not?