Tags: PBS's | Mark | Shields | Joins | Bush | Bashers

PBS's Mark Shields Joins Bush Bashers

Monday, 17 September 2001 12:00 AM

"I don't think the President has seized the moment," he told NewsHour anchorman Jim Lehrer.

"He hasn't made a connection with the people. He hasn't established a sense of command," Shields carped.

The PBS commentator also hinted that, like his Bay State compadre Rep. Marty Meehan, he wasn't buying Bush's explanation for not returning to the White House immediately after the Twin Towers collapsed.

"Whether subsequent events indicate that there was a real threat or whatever, the fact (is) that he didn't return to the White House, didn't return to Washington."

Never mind that Vice President Dick Cheney had already revealed that he personally urged Bush to stay away from D.C. -- and added Sunday that the Secret Service told him at the time that a hijacked jet was heading directly for the White House.

Undoubtedly PBS's biased Bostonian thinks Cheney is making that story up as well.

Here's more of Shields' Bush-bashing Friday night, zeroing in on the president's speaking style just hours after he'd delivered the most memorable line of the crisis so far:

"David McCullough, the historian, said that great Presidents basically have a great ability to communicate and to speak, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Reagan, and I was thinking of Reagan in the sense of January 28, 1986, when the "Challenger" went down.... (President Bush) hasn't established the tone."

Shields next invoked Mayor Giuliani to round out anti-Bush tirade:

"The President is also a chaplain, is also a coach, is also someone who has to inspire and explain. I don't think he has done that and Rudy Giuliani, the Mayor of New York, so aptly described by Paula Span in the 'Washington Post' as Winston Churchill in a Yankees cap, has filled that role remarkably well. And it stood in contrast."

The PBS commentator then complained that Bush "just seems a day late (at) each place" and even attacked him for using a bullhorn at the disaster site.

"I don't mean to be nit-picking on him, but the New York thing, talking at a moment like that at a place like that through rough a bull sound -- what the what do you call it?... Mega horn, whatever, yeah."

No doubt Shields would be doubly displeased if he'd heard the account one rescue worker shared with NewsMax.com Monday morning.

According to this on-the-scene source, fireman and police couldn't wait to shake hands with Bush during his Friday visit, with Bush engaging many at the site in one-on-one conversation.

Then came New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who's been inserting herself into every post-disaster photo-op she can find.

"Nobody wanted to shake her hand," said our source. "They all stood there with their arms folded."

How's that for "connecting with the people," Mr. Shields?

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I don't think the President has seized the moment, he told NewsHour anchorman Jim Lehrer. He hasn't made a connection with the people. He hasn't established a sense of command, Shields carped. The PBS commentator also hinted that, like his Bay State compadre Rep. Marty...
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2001-00-17
Monday, 17 September 2001 12:00 AM
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