Make sure to list all of your references

I’m apparently not the only one who has noted our President’s lack of rhetorical ability. NPR‘s White House correspondent Don Gonyea had a few interesting questions for Bush during the primetime press conference held back in April.

Q Following on both Judy’s and John’s questions, and it comes out of what you just said in some ways, with public support for your policies in Iraq falling off the way they have — quite significantly over the past couple of months — I guess I’d like to know if you feel in any way that you’ve failed as a communicator on this topic? Because —

THE PRESIDENT: Gosh, I don’t know. I mean —

Q Well, you deliver a lot of speeches and a lot of them contain similar phrases, and they vary very little from one to the next. And they often include a pretty upbeat assessment of how things are going — with the exception of tonight’s pretty somber assessment, this evening.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s a pretty somber assessment today, Don, yes.

Q I guess I just wonder if you feel that you have failed in any way? You don’t have many of these press conferences, where you engage in this kind of exchange. Have you failed in any way to really make the case to the American public?

THE PRESIDENT: I guess if you put it into a political context, that’s the kind of thing the voters will decide next November. That’s what elections are about. They’ll take a look at me and my opponent and say, let’s see, which one of them can better win the war on terror? Who best can see to it that Iraq emerges as a free society?

[Emphasis is mine.] Note carefully the multiple talking points in Bush’s initial response.

Also, here is some interesting research on what exactly Bush was doing on September 11th.