I’ve meant to write something about the historic import of the election of Barack Obama, but let me leave you with a smaller point. Overnight, Bush’s malapropisms have gone from a symbol of the incompetence with which our nation was governed to an almost endearing aspect of his personality. That I can enjoy reading his various contributions to the English language without bitterly worrying about the future of our nation is a sign of great progress. “Misunderestimate” may be the best thing he has done for America during his time on the national stage. Let’s all pause to reflect on its beauty.
My own take was that 2000 was his strongest showing.
In all seriousness, I primarily remember Calvin Coolidge on the basis of one anecdote. A woman approached him, and said that she had bet a friend that she could extract more than three words from him. He paused, before responding “you lose.” Unlike Bush, Coolidge was popular.
I must credit a great deal of whatever insight I might have on this topic to Jacob Weisberg’s thought, contained within the often odious “What I Will Miss About President Bush” piece published in the New York Times. Needless to say, whatever errors I have made are entirely my own responsibility. I have also benefitted greatly from discussions with my cats, each of whom are currently sleeping contentedly.