George W. on TV last night. Seen speaking at a rally for his father's presidential election at some time in 1988, he got up on the podium and admonished a large crowd to "kick something of Dukakis', and kick it hard!'" He's the young, reckless son, so he can get away with that. His style is still rough and unfinished. His unibrow is unplucked and his suit makes him look like a villain on Miami Vice. This is frat-boy George, whom I haven't seen before. The guy who doesn't know where he's going or what he's doing, but is certain of his privileged position in the world and always has been. He looks at one point towards the camera, and I catch the electrified, thousand-watt gaze which, when I see it in nightclubs, makes me think of cocaine or amphetamines. He's high on something, but it might just be the crowd. He might be getting a taste for the political life at this point.
I never got the point that Bush was "likeable." He seems like a singularly unlikeable man to me. An overprivileged man who didn't care about people unless they could do something for him. A small-minded egoist who just happens to stumble into the most ego-gratifying position in the world.
Later on, we see him managing the Texas Rangers. More relaxed and polished at this point. Networking, shaking hands. Signing things. Demonstratively hugging his father, the president of the United States, at a ball game. He's about to run for governor.
And I catch myself thinking: this guy ought to have a successful small business in Austin selling cell phones. Or maybe he should be a mid-level manager in a small oil company. He shouldn't have gotten anywhere near political power. He shouldn't have even been able to look at the presidency of the United States and think "I can totally do that."
I'm going to stop posting political rants soon. I promise.