Thursday, March 27, 2003

Will the Real George Bush "Please Stand Down"? 

Tim Dowling in The Guardian Unlimited wants to know if recent appearances by Dubya are stand-ins:

"You may think the air of extreme witlessness impossible to mimic, but is the man on the podium the authentic Dubya, a trained stand-in or an animatronic lookalike? Tim Dowling investigates

Thursday March 27, 2003

"George Bush" addresses the troops in Tampa. See how cleverly the wires are disguised.

Yesterday President George Bush made his first public appearance since the start of the war, speaking to service personnel at the MacDill airforce base in Tampa in an obvious bid to reassure Americans and boost the morale of the armed forces. But how do we know this is the real George Bush?
Later in the day a man who looked and sounded like Mr Bush appeared alongside Tony Blair at Camp David, leaving intelligence experts to ponder whether a lookalike had been used, and whether the same lookalike had been deployed on both occasions.

It has long been suspected that Mr Bush employs a string of lookalikes for difficult or dangerous speaking engagements, some of whom may have had their ears specially enlarged for the task.

Most of those who regularly monitor Mr Bush's speech patterns believe that it was the genuine article who spoke at Central Command HQ in Florida yesterday, pointing to a characteristic tendency toward quasi-biblical phrasing - "There will be a day of reckoning for the Iraqi regime, and that day is drawing in near" - and an almost total absence of words of more than three syllables.

Other experts disagree, pointing out that these consistencies originate with speech writers rather then the president himself, and that Bush's main vocal technique - the bewildered pause - is only too easy to imitate."