Friday, February 01, 2008

Bush Comes To Hallmark

Streets blocked, parking lots closed, sniffer dogs sniffin', a motorcade a quarter-mile long (including armored SWAT vehicles, an ambulance, and sinister SUVs with weird black cylinders on the roof), and curtains of tarps hung from outdoor walkways to prevent a long-distance sighting through a rifle scope. Not to give you whiplash after my last post about Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy, but thus arrives George Bush the younger, trailing clouds of much ado about not much.

He was here to make a speech on the state of the economy to a select group of Hallmark employees. At this point, I think "make a speech on the state the economy" means "convince people that there's gold in them thar turds." I was not invited, but I saw a lot of the security detail at work outside my window.

While he was here, the president apparently made a card at Kaleidoscope, our creativity workshop for kids, asking a group of reporters, "Who deserves a valentine?" I guess love is just not gonna be unconditional with this guy.

At the Hallmark visitors center, he had a brief run-in with Maxine, our beloved curmatron, viz.:

I'm trying to imagine what words of wisdom she might have about the experience...

"When life give you lemons, blame Florida."


Tina said...

I am shocked, Jim...SHOCKED! That you didn't get invited to hear him speak.

Who do you think did? My money's on the panini lady. She seems like she'd exude that hard-workin' but not protestin' vibe they'd wanna pack in that room.

A friend of mine saw his speech televised tonight in a BREAKING NEWS segment...she said he looked like he was speaking to a large audience, although they only showed him on camera.

I wonder if Amanda Bradley showed up drunk.

Alicia A. said...

I saw a blurb about this on the news and tuned out to what they were saying about him, but I was TOTALLY scanning the audience to see if any of you's guys that I know were there listening.

I have a good feeling about this election... :)

Anonymous said...

Blame Clinton hippie

scotland said...

Dear James, as you probably know, there's never enough sympathy to go around. Bush's comment to reporters may have been a silent plea for help which he expected to fall on deaf ears. The fable of Chicken Little comes to mind, when the sky falling down is replaced by the wolf at the door. I'm struck by amazement,now knowing how something formless looks when its bent out of shape. The security protocol is a sad reflection of the climate of fear now existing(re: chicken little)the only area where looking forward to climate change would be good for us all. I don't want to be a party pooper but the notion that things can't get any worse has always seemed like an over simplification of any situation. I've found out that if you save your sympathy for yourself it loses it's value and flavor. So in the spirit of giving I say "I really feel sorry for the sorry-assed Mother Sucker,now that's been said "Lets tear the roof off".

djayt said...

The snipers on rooftops were one of my favorite things.

coloredsock said...

so i was driving down to santa fe friday night to hear Baraka Obama speak (hew was awesome by the way) and i heard on npr that bush was at HK. my first thought was, i bet none of my friends were selected to attend. bet they had to sign a thing that if they made any creative attempts for showing their feelings/opinion, they'd get canned immediately. guess i was right. musta been a really strange day there.

Jasph said...

It was surreal, folks. And later that afternoon came the news of firings. Coinkydink? Well, yeah. But still.

I heard that 200 people at Sprint, 400 people at Cerner, and about 500 at H&R Block were fired in January. That could be rumor. No idea about the total number at Hallmark, but when one of your smart, funny friends is affected, it has a certain "there but for the luck of the draw" feel to it.

What I don't get is why we don't court the press when Bono shows up here (not only a superstar, but a guy who's done more for humanity than any president has ever done)--and then when the least popular president since Herbert Hoover shows up, it's all over the media. I think we could be more careful about who our brand is associated with.

Scott's right about the importance of sympathy, though. I always try to picture Bush as a fourth-grader (surprisingly easy, actually) in his L.L. Bean short pants, growing up in the shelter of wealth and privilege and that big family shadow. And I try to stop my imagination short when little George starts bullying some other kid.

I heard Maggie, everyone's favorite cafeteria worker, was asked to attend the speech, and that Bush talked to her afterwards in Spanish, and that his Spanish is pretty good. So that's good.

Less than a year to go. That's even better.