Daily Show: Globetrotting, vacation records show Bush 'cannot stand' White House
As President Bush runs his tour of Asia, culminating with a stop at the Olympics in Beijing, Jon Stewart on Tuesday celebrated America's "most traveled president in history," while raising some possible ulterior motives for his White House absenteeism. Simultaneously, the Daily Show host lampooned the administration's strange, sometimes overreaching modifications of the English language.
"It seemed like an ordinary trip for the president, except ..." said Stewart, "it's his 134th visit to a foreign country! It's a record!"
Blowing a party horn, the host added that Bush, "either has a thirst for International knowledge, or is a drug mule... I know there's one way to check, but I'm not going there."
He added that, on top of holding the record for most foreign countries visited by a US president, Bush also racked up a record for most vacation days: 506, and counting.
"I think it's pretty clear: there's something about being at the White House our president cannot stand," said Stewart. Then, shifting into his familiar 'Bush voice,' he joked, "I can't help but think it -- I'm sleeping in the same bed where my mom and dad used to do it."
Moving into a special report on Bush's 'not-yet legacy,' the host offered an assessment of the damage wrought by his administration; in particular, the Bush Administration's abuse of language.
"The truth is this!" he said. "George W. Bush's real contribution to language has been in redefining it. For instance, when people began suggesting that we think about leaving Iraq..."
"What I won't accept is, you know, the artificial timetables of withdraw," said Bush in a series of clips.
"No artificial timetables!" yelled Stewart. "This is a free-range, organic war. That's why it costs so much."
But, what about when Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the US should leave the country in 16 to 23 months, the White House agreed with him. Was it an 'artificial timetable'? No, said Stewart, transitioning into another series of clips from administration officials.
"Aspirational time-horizon" was the administration's emerging terminology; whereas, said White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, "timelines are dangerous."
"See, timelines are dangerous," said Stewart. "What we need is a horizon. A withdraw strategy named after something that no matter how long you head towards it, you never quite reach it."
The administration's other verbal modifications?
"Ethnosectarian competition," instead of civil war. "Liquidity backstop" instead of bailout for lending institutions. And, of course, the many pseudonyms for torture.
"It's a tougher program for tougher customers," said Vice President Dick Cheney of the administration's "enhanced interrogations."
"Tough customers?" asked Stewart. "You know, I've worked in some bad retail situations. Not once did I ever shock a guy's nuts."
This video is from Comedy Central's The Daily Show, broadcast August 5, 2008.