Denver, US


Here's an honest to God account of one person's meeting with the President in Philadelphia this month:

"So when the President was here on July 4, I had the opportunity to shake his hand. I wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not but I did it anyway, and said to him, "Mr. President, I hope you only serve four years. I'm very disappointed in your work so far." He kept smiling and shaking my hand but answered, "Who cares what you think?"

His face stayed photo-op perfect, but his eyes gave me a look that said, if we'd been drinking in some frathouse in Texas, he'd've happily answered, "Let's take it outside." A nasty little gleam. But he was (fortunately) constrained by presidential propriety. But that was the end of it until I turned away and started scribbling the quote down in my notepad, so as to remember the "Gift" forever.

When he saw me do that, he got excited and craned his neck over the rubberneckers to shout at me, "Who are you with? Who are you with?" People started looking, so he made a joke: "Make sure you get it right." But he kept at it: "Who do you write for?" I told him I wasn't "with" anybody and pointed to one of his staff people who knows me a little, and said, "Ask him, he'll tell you." Then I split.

Half an hour later, my boss (who'd helped organize the event we were at) came up to me and said, "Did you really tell the President he was doing a 'lousy fucking job'?"

"No way," I said, "I was very polite, I just told him what I thought."

Fortunately, he believed me. He wasn't happy with me, but he believed me. But anyway, if you ever wondered if the Prez really is kind of a jerk, I'm here to tell you, he is, and I got The Gift to prove it. I'm thinking of making up t-shirts so we can share The Gift with everyone:

"Who cares what you think?"

- President George W. Bush, July 4, 2001"

I'm not sure who this happened to, but will let you all know when I find out.

Well, it was/is totally unclear to me whether or not this happened to raverDave or not. After allowing my Netscape to leave the confines of E2 for the first time in a week, I saw this story several places on the internet. (I guess I have successfully avoided many of the e-mail lists.) One post (at the Geek Culture Forum) attributes the story to Andrew Hudson, spokesman for Denver's mayor Wellington Webb. I hope the Urban Legends team will pursue seeking the validity of this story better than I can -- watch In any case, I think it is important the write-up above is attributed to the proper source, if one exists.

To add my (if the story is true) I'll just say that while his lack of tact is interesting, Bush's disinterest in voters' opinions is hardly surprising. After losing the popular election and having the presidency handed to him by Antonin Scalia and cohorts, he has forwarded a very right-wing agenda. Of course, any president probably would have thought the same words, even though most would be able to bite his/her tongue.

17 Aug 2001 update: The good folks at have discovered that the e-mail above was written by Bill Hangley, a Philadelphia-based journalist who still stands by his accounting of the meeting. They also clear up the common mis-attributing of the story to Andrew Hudson who's .sig apparently was misinterpreted as a claim of authorship.


Re-elect Gore in 2004

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