Blogging the White House

Blogging the White House
: Here’s blogger and publisher Rex Hammock’s blog report on his meeting with George Bush (see yesterday’s post for background). Great stuff:

The President sat with us at a conference table between me and a young stay-at-home mother of two whose husband is a police officer (and, like me, a expat Alabamian). Across from the three of us sat two other young women and an older man, an apple farmer from Gettysburg, Penn. One of the women was a single mother of two who works full time and takes graduate school classes online. The other was a mom who works fulltime.

There were a few staffers around the edges of the room, including the logistics and policy people who had planned the event and a White House photographer. Andrew Card sat at the end of the table as a quiet observer,

Each participant had a name card in front of us and the Prersident was quick to use our first names in chatting with us about our work and families, especially asking us about how we had used any tax refunds or incentives. Only a few people knew I was going to do this, but more than one asked jokingly if I thought the President would give me a nickname. I’m happy not to disappoint them. He did. He turned to me once to ask a question and said,

  • Thanks, Jeff. Your comments mean a lot. Here’s what I’ve just posted on the rexblog:
    A blogger hero of mine, Jeff Jarvis, has given me a nice shout out for my visit with the President post. I must say that I was thinking of Jeff and his moving accounts of how September 11 changed him when I was preparing for the meeting. No lie. Also, I did feel like (and while some of you will get this, non-bloggers will think it ridiculous) I had an obligation to other bloggers to record as much of my personal point-of-view of the experience as I could. I know we all disagree on where we stand on the issues and how we perceive President Bush, but I felt even his detractors would appreciate a blogger-version of the experience.

  • SF

    THank you for that wonderful report Mr. Hammock of meeting our President.
    Something I’ve noticed when people meet him. THey all come away with pretty much the same feelings you shared with us. And for me, I have never met him, but viewing pictures upon pictures of him meeting people, children, Soldiers, etc.,..I get that feeling he just connects..its does not seem phoney.
    A particular touching report from the families of Soldiers killed in Iraq over in Britian I had read when he was there..They all came away after looking him in the eye..believe him to be sincere and genuine.

  • hen

    a friend of mine and her family who are dyed in wool democrats met the President a two years ago. my friends cousin was killed at the WTC, she was a PA cop. anyways, she and her family were very impressed with the President. he came across as a sincere, caring individual.
    i think one of the reasons why his enemies hate him so much is because he is a sincere, and caring individual. in light of this, there deficiencies are brought to the fore.
    and yes i am talking to Soros, Gore, Moore, Kerry, etc.

  • hen

    there – their — jesus i need a preview button.

  • Andy Freeman

    I’d expect Bush to be personally likeable because being likeable helps one be a successful politician. As does intelligence.
    I’ve read similar accounts by folks who met President Clinton.
    One difference is that folks weren’t surprised that Clinton was likeable and intelligent.

  • Chad P.

    Andy Freeman: “One difference is that folks weren’t surprised that Clinton was likeable and intelligent.”
    That’s one of the advantages of a compliant media.

  • Ebb Tide

    Peggy Noonan had a similar article yesterday:

  • Joe Peden

    Let’s face it: Bush is not Dumb. If he ever was uninformed, he is a quick learner.
    It is interesting to see how propaganda sticks. I met this woman who told me Bush has no “intellectual curiosity”. How did she know this?
    She also stated that Bush must be blighted because he had not travelled to enough Foreign Countries. I said, why would the Gov. of Texas want to travel to a lot of Foreign Countries? Moreover he was situated right next to one main Foreign Country, and had learned to speak its language, to boot.
    She still thinks Bush is “dumb”.

  • Bill Peschel

    “I’d expect Bush to be personally likeable because being likeable helps one be a successful politician. As does intelligence.”
    I doubt that Nixon could be considered likeable. Howard Dean seems to give off the same vibe, yet he was able to be elected governor of Vermont.
    Grey Davis, likeable?
    Unfortunately for Bush, his advisers seem unable to showcase his personable qualities. But, I could imagine Bush talking with someone like Bob Costas in his old late-night format and do very well, if he felt like he could talk as freely as he did with Mr. Hammock.

  • Tim

    Nixon, Dean and Davis successful politicians? I suppose, in that they all had measures of success. But the first was a forced resignation, the second is a never was, and the was third recalled a short eleven months after being reelected.
    Surely you can think of better examples? Or not.

  • O’

    Ah — how sweet!