October 6, 2002
HAGIOGRAPHY:Profile: George W Bush: He means what he says (William Hague, 06/10/2002, Daily Telegraph)
Not for the first time we have a President of the United States who enjoys an extraordinary and sustained level of support from the American public but is misunderstood and mistrusted on our side of the Atlantic. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan was often derided in British and European opinion as being no more than a B-movie actor who was not up to the job intellectually.
Even when he turned out to be an immensely successful president who pursued his goals on taxation, defence and international relations with great clarity and success a huge proportion of otherwise well-informed people in Europe continued to regard him as little more than an imbecile.
The same people say many of the same things about George W Bush. He is not an intellectual. He uses strange language. He knows nothing of the rest of the world. He doesn't look as if he can think straight.
Mr Bush can turn up at the United Nations, as he did on September 12, and deliver a speech that is shrewd in its diplomacy, flawless in its delivery and unanswerable in its logic but his critics cling doggedly to their initial preconceptions.
I have been lucky enough over the past four years, both as Leader of the Opposition and since leaving that office, to see and talk to Mr Bush in a variety of situations, from the governor's office in Texas to his current residence at the White House. Being on the Right of politics and an enthusiast about America, I am, of course, biased, but I have always found him completely different from his popular caricature.
It's a blatant suck-up piece, but an exceptionally nice one. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 6, 2002 7:59 AM