Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Fake Endorsement

I've always known what a politician said and what they believed were often at odds but this brings it to new heights.
Trying to be even-handed and polite, the [visiting] Brits said something diplomatic about McCain’s campaign, expecting Bush to express some warm words of support for the Republican candidate.

Not a chance. “I probably won’t even vote for the guy,” Bush told the group, according to two people present.“I had to endorse him. But I’d have endorsed Obama if they’d asked me.”

Endorse Obama? Cue dumbfounded look from British officials, followed by some awkward remarks about the Washington weather. Even Gordon Brown’s poker face gave way to a flash of astonishment.
When I first read that, I was utterly confused. "Had to?" You're the President at the end of his final term. You're basically done with politics; you don't need to be re-elected or get any bills passed. But I suppose between the speaking opportunities and book deals, you want to leave on good terms with the party faithful. A good example of how strong of an impact incentives are.

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