President George W. Bush arrived in Tipp City yesterday and spoke to an exclusive crowd of Miami County residents on his thoughts about the war in Iraq and his plans for the future of the global war on terror. Opening the speech with a moment of silence for the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, Bush went on to speak at length about the decisions he has made over his six years in the White House and the threats he has perceived to our way of life.
After speaking for almost 45 minutes, he took eight questions from the audience in the relaxed, “in-the-round” town hall setting inside Tippecanoe High School, covering topics as diverse as health care, war funding, immigration reform, and the security challenges faced by high schools and colleges nationwide. On a personal note, he responded to one question on his feelings about making decisions from a “set of moral standards” instead of following poll numbers for the sake of popularity. “Everyone wants to be loved,” he said at one point, bringing smiles to the faces of audience members. “Especially politicians. No one goes into politics and says ‘I want to be despised – I think I’ll run for office.'”
Something noted by this reviewer was Bush’s relaxed manner and his frequent humor, which often brought spontaneous laughter from the crowd. In today’s soundbite-driven media, it’s difficult to get a sense of a speaker until you hear an entire speech, especially one given in a casual atmosphere like Thursday’s, without commercial interruptions or instantaneous critiques. Next time you hear a politician speak, any politician, I encourage you to listen to the entire speech from start to finish and tune out any “analysis” given by media wags. Instead, take it all in, think about what was said, and come to your own conclusions. Greg Enslen, Downtown Tipp City Partnership