10) Bush was authentic. He mangled his words. A liberal industry grew up around both “nuclar” and its sometimes corrective “nucular.” He strutted and talked Nascarese-like “bring ‘em on.” Much of this was excessive, but we knew at least Bush meant it. We got worried when he extemporaneously expounded for long riffs about freedom at press conferences, as his eyes rolled and he drifted from topic to topic. He put his arm on Angela Merkel and cried out “Yo Blair.” The media told us he was a yokel; we might add: albeit an authentic one who could duck properly when under shoe attack.
But Obama? He cannot really speak off the teleprompter without pauses, repetitions, and constant self-referencing (as in “me,” “I,” “my,” etc.). He is stiff and not comfortable with himself off the court or golf course. Bush made decisions and stuck by them; Obama the professor offers a perennial “on the one hand”/”on the other hand” mish-mash and a sorta, kinda, almost answer. Americans would prefer to be in a foxhole with George Bush, who would swagger and announce as decider-in-chief at H-hour, “OK, pard, we’re going over the top together on this one.” They wouldn’t want to be with Obama, who would stutter and give a long-drawn out exegesis why race and class had condemned us to such an unfair predicament, whose only solution is to go into a fetal position and condemn “them” who did this awful thing to us.