Kevin Drum at The Washington Monthly says just about everything I was about to post (and probably better stated, too):
the DNC has a quickie video up on its site that showcases all of George Bush's off camera grimaces and eye rolling during the debate. Go take a look. It's only about a minute long.Let me add just a couple of notes.
It's worth nothing that this was different from Al Gore's infamous sighing in 2000. Gore's performance was quite obviously that: a performance. He made a conscious decision that this was a good way to get across the idea that Bush was a dimwit. Conversely, Bush's gestures this year seemed entirely genuine.
What does it mean? The sense I got from Bush's weird inability to control himself wasn't so much that he was bored or annoyed — although he was obviously irked during some of his responses — but that he just can't stand to wait around while someone else has the stage. He's the guy in charge, and people are supposed to listen to him, not the other way around.
At least, that's how it struck me. Your mileage may vary.
Bush seemed awfully eager to interrupt or insist that he get to rebut almost everything Kerry said (broke the rules more than five times, so I can tell, but that's nothing for a privileged little Bushie), but he never had anything to say when he did. Or it was a broken record. He behaved like a pull-string talking doll. Kerry said something to pull the string, and Bush recited a phrase. Sometimes, the very same phrase. It rarely meant much of anything.
But I'd be less generous in saying simply that Bush doesn't like sharing the stage. This man thinks he's such hot shit. And he is hot shit. But as anyone who's ever had explosive diarrhea knows, hot shit is a bad thing.
That comment about "I loved her the best I could" referring to the widow of a dead soldier actually creeped me out more than "the leash" he says he tries to put his daughters on. And I intensely dislike his daughters who are as vain, vapid, and riding along solely on privilege as their dad. But he's 58 and they're 22.
Bush was petulant, pouting, ill prepared with more that his chosen messages, and it's so fucking obvious he doesn't know what's going on and possibly doesn't care. He doesn't feel the need to audition for an audience. Hell, he knows he can be president without the majority of Americans voting for him and without a fair and full count.
Then.. the fucking nerve of the Bush people to claim he was a little off only because he had spent such a tough day dealing with the Florida hurricane victims. Always an excuse for George but never an admission of culpability. Pathetic.