The top 25 Bushisms of all time.

I have written about the serious side of Bush’s legacy many times (see “Bush will go down in history as possibly a person who has doomed the planet” and Why History Won’t Warm to “W”).

Given the misery Bush has brought to so many millions already — and the far greater misery his policies will eventually bring to billions if we don’t reverse catastrophic climate change — one must find what gallows humor we can. In that spirit, here is Slate’s list of W’s Greatest Hits:

1. “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”–Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

2. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”–Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

3. “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”–Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

4. “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.”–Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

5. “Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican.”–declining to answer reporters’ questions at the Summit of the Americas, Quebec City, Canada, April 21, 2001

6. “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”–Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

7. “I’m the decider, and I decide what is best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.”–Washington, D.C., April 18, 2006

8. “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”–Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

9. “I’ve heard he’s been called Bush’s poodle. He’s bigger than that.”–discussing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as quoted by the Sun newspaper, June 27, 2007

10. “And so, General, I want to thank you for your service. And I appreciate the fact that you really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who are trying to defeat us in Iraq.”–meeting with Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Washington, D.C., March 3, 2008

11. “We ought to make the pie higher.”–South Carolina Republican debate, Feb. 15, 2000

12. “There’s an old saying in Tennessee–I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee–that says, fool me once, shame on–shame on you. Fool me–you can’t get fooled again.”–Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

13. “And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it.”–speaking on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007

14. “We’ll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers.”–Houston, Sept. 6, 2000

15. “It’s important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It’s not only life of babies, but it’s life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet.”–Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

16. “One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.”–U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 3, 2000

17. “People say, ‘How can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil?’ You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in’s house and say I love you.”–Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

18. “Well, I think if you say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, that’s trustworthiness.”–CNN online chat, Aug. 30, 2000

19. “I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep on the soil of a friend.”–on the prospect of visiting Denmark, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2005

20. “I think it’s really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive. The best way to do it is to convince little kids how to–the beauty of playing baseball.”–Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2006

21. “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.”–LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

22. “You know, when I campaigned here in 2000, I said, I want to be a war president. No president wants to be a war president, but I am one.”–Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2006

23. “There’s a huge trust. I see it all the time when people come up to me and say, ‘I don’t want you to let me down again.’ “–Boston, Oct. 3, 2000

24. “They misunderestimated me.”–Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

25. “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.”–Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

12 Responses to The top 25 Bushisms of all time.

  1. Edward Wolf says:

    26. “The trouble with the French is, they don’t have a word for ‘entrepreneur.'” — whispered to Prime Minister Tony Blair at a European conference, circa spring 2001.

  2. Brian D says:

    Ah, Bushisms. Arguably the only thing about the guy I’ll miss.

    I am surprised that “I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive.” (Aug 4, 2004) didn’t make the list.

  3. paulm says:

    how about ‘I screwed the world and am going to get away with it:).’

  4. paulm says:

    Europe on the verge of war???

    Lesser things have started conflicts…

    EU warns of legal action over gas
    the rhetoric from Russia and Ukraine is increasingly antagonistic.

  5. Edward, I was drinking mango juice when I read your Bushism, and only the discipline that comes from two decades of martial arts practice prevented said juice from coming out of my nose.

    Shame on you sir!

    I thought that I had heard them all!

  6. And then there was the 8 minutes of total silence – on 9/11 – when he did not speak at all.

  7. UncaDoug says:

    Silence would be inextricably golden … like the nectur of mango.
    More as reported in the Daily News

    January 12, 2008
    In President Bush’s Final Press Conference, His Sound Bites Are Tough To Digest
    By Kenneth R. Bazinet

    Despite downplaying the demands of the presidency, Bush said it’s almost all-consuming.

    “There’s not a moment where you don’t think about being President,” he revealed. “Unless you’re riding mountain bikes as hard as you possibly can.”

    He also mused about some of his post-presidential plans.

    “I just can’t envision myself, you know, the big straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt sitting on some beach,” he said. “Particularly since I quit drinking.”

    And asked to tick off some of his missteps, Bush poked fun at his own penchant for mangling the English language.

    “Obviously, some of my rhetoric has been a mistake,” he said.

    “Clearly putting a – “Mission accomplished” on a aircraft carrier was a mistake. It sent the wrong message,” he conceded.

    And next Wednesday, on his first day out of office, he said, he will wake up at his Crawford, Tex., ranch, “and I suspect I’ll make Laura coffee and go get it for her.”

  8. DavidONE says:

    “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” – Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 200

    Also, I never get tired of (note bare feet).

  9. DavidONE says:

    EDIT – that ‘200’ should be ‘2000’.

    P.S. Wouldn’t it be great if we could preview and / or edit comments. It’s easy to implement – e.g. and

  10. Anne says:

    Joe, you missed the best one!

    “Congress also must understand they’ve got to pass an energy bill. You see, an energy bill will be good for jobs. An energy bill will be good for national security. We need an energy bill that encourages consumption… ”

    — Trenton, NJ Sept 23, 2002

    It’s actually ON the White House website, believe it or not.