Blogs > Liberty and Power > Not a Vest

Oct 11, 2004 3:49 pm

Not a Vest

According to the New York Times and several other sources, this is the Bush administration's response: "First they said that pictures showing the bulge might have been doctored. But then, when the bulge turned out to be clearly visible in the television footage of the evening, they offered a different explanation.

"There was nothing under his suit jacket," said Nicolle Devenish, a campaign spokeswoman."It was most likely a rumpling of that portion of his suit jacket, or a wrinkle in the fabric." Ms. Devenish could not say why the"rumpling" was rectangular.Nor was the bulge from a bulletproof vest, according to campaign and White House officials; they said Mr. Bush was not wearing one.

For more commentary, please see McBlog.

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Wendy McElroy - 10/12/2004

Hello Gene:

There are several arguments that can be made against the position "W stands for Wired" but I don't think the vapidness or outright stupidity of his answers is the best one. Judging from ample past experience, I think the man can be easily confused and flustered, especially under pressure, and getting instructions fed into your ear can be disorienting. Personally, I liked the Wonkette's refutation. Namely, she'll only believe it was true if the Bush administration *massively* denies the rumor rather than doing so in a subdued manner. In other words, if they claim Bush was not even been at the 1st debate, then she'll believe he was wired during it. And, yes, I'm having fun again. I don't think the issue of his being wired is important -- tho' it would be one of several violations of the pre-negotiated rules for the debates. What a shock...politicians don't obey their own rules!

On a more serious I actually believe he was wired? I'm about 50/50. But I'm like a Bush/Kerry poll in that the ratio rises and falls slightly depending on whether I've just looked at the photographs or not. I think it has been fairly well established that Bush has feeds on many occasions; his own officials have admitted as much. But during the debate? Is Karl Rove that stupid or arrogant? Again, 50/50.It is dangerous to under-estimate the arrogance of the current administration.


Wendy McElroy - 10/12/2004

Too bad. It was rather fun to be part of a conspiracy.

Gene Healy - 10/12/2004

Doesn't his performance in the debate pretty definitively refute the idea that he had help? I mean, who was on the other end of the wire, Forrest Gump?

Steven Horwitz - 10/12/2004

Well Wendy, I wasn't suggesting YOU were a conspiracy theorist, rather those who have vigorous promulgated this story (just as those who were pushing the "Kerry had notes!" thing after the first debate). Sorry if you took it personally.

Wendy McElroy - 10/12/2004

I don't know how much clearer the administration can be about Bush not wearing *anything* under his suit jacket.I don't know the information upon which you base your belief that he was wearing "some form of protection" when the administration flatly states that he wasn't... In any case, I am not fanatical about arguing the point. More than anything else I am having fun with it. All the more so as this is the first time I have ever been called a conspiracy theorist.

Steven Horwitz - 10/11/2004

Two responses:

1. He might not have been wearing a "bulletproof vest" but it could have been some other form of protection.

2. More important, I stand by my claim that trying to pull this off in that place and time would be beyond stupid. Tom Palmer gets it right about conspiracy theories here: