Bush leaves kids speechless at King Day event: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted January 21, 2008 2:09 PM
The Swamp

Bush%20at%20MLK%20library%20small
President Bush leans over to talk with a girl after participating in a lesson for young children on the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day during a tour of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, Jan. 21, 2008. Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

by Frank James

President Bush briefly visited the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, a hulking, black, Mies van der Rohe structure in downtown Washington D.C. today only a block or so away from the Tribune offices. (I was wondering why a police cruser blocked a nearby street on my way to work.)

There, Bush delivered a few appropriate remarks about the civil-rights icon and the meaning of the holiday and mingled with children and volunteers like mentors.

The event allowed the president to dust off the compassionate conservative language, his version of the Golden Rule, he keeps handy for occasions like today's.

You kind of get the feeling that the White House decided to go minimalist with the president's King Day message, like they were just going down the checklist. "King Day remarks at the King library, check."

Which made the equally unadorned architecture of the King library the perfect setting for Bush's appearance.

9:42 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for having us. Listen, Laura and I are thrilled to be with you. Proud to be with the Mayor and Councilman Jack Evans. We appreciate very much the Serve D.C. that is working to inspire volunteerism, and I want to thank this beautiful library for hosting us.

I just got a couple of comments I want to say. First of all, Martin Luther King Day means two things to me. One is the opportunity to renew our deep desire for America to be a land of promise for everybody, a land of justice, and a land of opportunity. It's also an opportunity to serve our fellow citizens. They say Martin Luther King Day is not a day off, it should be a day on. And so today Laura and I witnessed acts of compassion as citizens were here in the library volunteering their time, and that's what's happening all across America today.

Bushes%20with%20kids%20at%20MLK%20library%20small
(Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

But a day on should be not just one day. It really ought to be every day. And our fellow citizens have got to understand that by loving a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself, by reaching out to someone who hurts, by just simply living a life of kindness and compassion, you can make America a better place and fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King.

Martin Luther King is a towering figure in the history of our country. And it is fitting that we honor his service and his courage and his vision. And today we're witnessing people doing just that by volunteering their time.

So we're honored to be with you. We're proud to be with you on this important national holiday. Mr. Mayor, thank you for coming. Jack, glad you're here. Appreciate you all taking time out of your day to visit with us.

Thank you.

END 9:44 A.M. EST

The Associated Press reports that Bush had the effect the president, any president, often has on people who meet one of the world's most august presences, he left them speechless.

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush on Monday hailed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as a towering figure and called on the nation's people to honor the slain civil rights leader by helping those in need.

"Our fellow citizens have got to understand that by loving a neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself, by reaching out to someone who hurts, by just simply living a life of kindness and compassion, you can make America a better place and fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King," Bush said at a library named for the slain civil rights leader.

With first lady Laura Bush at his side, Bush spoke briefly on the federal holiday honoring the birthday of King, who would have been 79 on Jan. 15.

An advocate of peaceful resistance and equality for people of all races, King was assassinated in April 1968.

Bush said that King's holiday offers a chance to "renew our deep desire for America to be a land of promise for everybody, a land of justice, and a land of opportunity." He said it should be a "day on" of volunteering — not a day off — and encouraged people to do community service year-round.

The setting for Bush was the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington. The building features a colorful mural that depicts scenes from King's life and celebrates his role in the march toward social justice.

"Martin Luther King is a towering figure in the history of our country," Bush said. "And it is fitting that we honor his service and his courage and his vision."

Bush spoke after participating in a story-time session with a handful of children who grew shy in his presence. The president posted a few pictures on a bulletin board as the young students learned how King fought to change unfair laws.

When the kids were asked how they could make the world a better place, none of them spoke up. So Bush did for them.

"Love your neighbor," he said emphatically. "Volunteer," chimed in the first lady.

Bush has marked the King holiday in different ways during his presidency. Among other events, he has viewed the Emancipation Proclamation at a special showing at the National Archives, placed a wreath at King's grave, spoken at a predominantly black Baptist church and helped spruce up a high school.

The kids should know it happens to adults too. There's just something about seeing a U.S> president right in front of you that can cause brain and tongue freeze.

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Comments

The first picture on this thread of the little girl looking at Bush says it all.

"Please go away, Prez 26%"


More worthless gibberish from the worst mankind has to offer: John E.


My parents talk about you being the worst leader this country has ever seen, and that you actually hate black folks like us.


My parents talk about you being the worst leader this country has ever seen, and that you actually hate black folks like us.


My parents talk about you being the worst leader this country has ever seen, and that you actually hate black folks like us.


What was the question, how can you make the world a better place?
Realize the folly of "pre-emptive" wars.
Access to quality preventive healthcare for all God's children, not just those that can afford it.
Don't spend more than you take in.
Tolerance and respect for those that are different than you.


Frank, what kind of "cruser" was it? Ford Crown Victoria or Chevy Caprice?


Little girl - trust your instincts. They are serving you well.


The contrast between Dr. King's message of tolerance and the attitude reflected in the two preceding emails speaks volumes about how far we have to go. the same little girl is smiling in the second picture - maybe she got it! Obviously, the two Johns don't.


More worthless gibberish from the worst mankind has to offer: John E.

Posted by: John D | January 21, 2008 2:40 PM


There's more where that came from, Little Johnny D'rumstick:

Ten years ago, on January 21, 1998, allegations of Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky first became public via the Washington Post. The president was later impeached by the House when it was discovered that his Oval Office bj's had resulted in the deaths of nearly 4,000 American soldiers and cost over two trillion dollars.

Thank god his successor (Bush jr) restored integrity to the White House, huh?


My parents talk about you being the worst leader this country has ever seen, and that you actually hate black folks like us.

Posted by: burningrabbit | January 21, 2008 3:11 PM

burningrabbit-

Your comment says way more about you than you probably would like - good thing you submitted it three times.


Kids know.


These are the childrens that need to be left behind.


I am not a Bush supporter but come on let it go. This day is to honor the memory of Dr. King. I see nothing in Bush's statement that is contrary to the message of MLK.
If you think his policies were not along these lines, that's fine. Save it for another day.


JohnE.

Two years before B.J. Clinton was impeached the Sudanese government offered the arrest and extradition of Osama Binladen to the U.S.
But, B.J. said no.
Just think JohnE, if B.J. had said yes....no 9/11....2 trillion dollars saved and thousands of lives spared!

Chasing teen-age interns around the oval was more important to him.

Paulo


John A., asking the Swamp liberals not to bash Bush is like asking your dog not to bark at the mailman.


More worthless gibberish from the worst mankind has to offer: John E.
_____________________________
That's all jdyslien has to offer anymore. Hatred, vitriol and cliches. Looks like he ran out of ideas about the same time this mis-administration did. Seven years ago.


The President's remarks were appropriate for children. Short and to the point. This is a day to remember the inspired leadership of Dr. King. I guess some people would prefer to ignore the high road that Dr. King was trying to walk and just wallow in name calling and slurs. Me, I'm going to keep looking up.


The Bush Legacy...beautifully captured in the first photo.


Volunteerism. Yet another "ism" from W. At least he sounded nice today. He sounded like he had some integrity. I'd like to see that spirit extended not only to Americans, but to citizens of all countries.


GWB is a fine gentleman who today,
paid proper respect
due to the memory
of MLK jr.

Please do not denigrate either man,
thank you.


rncbs, the nonsense John E dishes day in and day out needs no other reply than the one I gave.

And then there is burningrabbit who drags out that Bush and Republicans hate black people. Well, tell that to Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Michael Steele and countless other high-ranking blacks in this administration.
Yes, there was Katrina. A monumental failure of all levels of government, but none moreso than local and state officials.
But the Dems sure have done well by keeping blacks in their hip pockets, doling tidbits of candy to them, all the while continuing to support policies that made too many black reliant on a failed socialized government system that actually did more harm than good.


"rncbs, the nonsense John E dishes day in and day out needs no other reply than the one I gave.

And then there is burningrabbit who drags out that Bush and Republicans hate black people. Well, tell that to Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Michael Steele and countless other high-ranking blacks in this administration.
Yes, there was Katrina. A monumental failure of all levels of government, but none moreso than local and state officials.
But the Dems sure have done well by keeping blacks in their hip pockets, doling tidbits of candy to them, all the while continuing to support policies that made too many black reliant on a failed socialized government system that actually did more harm than good"

And then there's John D., who thinks somehow he has some superiority that gives him a right to sling back venom and hatred because he's so against people slinging venom and hate -- at least that's what he says.

It makes him every bit as bad as the worst of the people he is so obsessed with here.

No greater waste of gravity than John D, in this world or any other.


And then there is burningrabbit who drags out that Bush and Republicans hate black people. Well, tell that to Condi Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Michael Steele and countless other high-ranking blacks in this administration.
-
And which one of those were elected? The point being made is that republican voters won't vote for a black man. Oklahoma once voted for a black football player, but they would never vote for a black politician.

Also, it sure doesn't seem that Condi has much influence. Colin sure didn't. They're all window dressing.


Hilarious picture;

'From the face of babes comes the truth'.


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