Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Monday, October 24, 2005

President’s Joke Irks Friends & Foes Alike

For many months the citizens of Ventura County planned and prepared for the dedication of the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Library. A Presidential visit was anticipated to be the keystone event for the celebration. Last Friday was the long awaited day and President Bush stood at the podium, facing the majestic Boeing 707, in front of about 750 special invited guests. The President began his opening remarks and moved to the acknowledgement of key individuals in the crowd. When he got to Simi Valley Mayor Paul Miller, the President said, “I know Mayor Paul Miller is with us. Mr. Mayor, thanks for being here. Appreciate you coming. Only advice I have is fill the potholes.” The audience laughed, but the moans from the television and print audience are still reverberating back and forth off the hills surrounding Simi Valley. Read Pres. Bush’s speech here.

I was not privledged to be in attendance at the event and did not initially see nor hear the President’s remarks, but it did not take long before I heard the jokes and derision aimed at him. Hearing the story recounted I have to admit that I felt that the comment was out of line. That is until I went to Channel 7’s web site and watched a video of the speech. After seeing the President deliver the line it became apparent to me that the President was injecting a little humor into his speech. Of course, I am not speaking for the Mayor. I have no idea how he may have taken the comment.

So why was it that some people took the comment negatively? Well, clearly some people do not like the President and it does not matter what he says; they just plain will not like anything out of his mouth. Then there others of us who felt disappointed, let down by someone we admire immensely. We expected better. But, this has been a reinforcing lesson for me as a reminder that to get the full message we must go to the original, or as close as possible, to capture the nuances of facial expressions and inflection of spoken words.

For those of you still having a hard time with the President’s comment; Get over it; I think the President told a joke.