I've been watching O'Reilly's 3 part interview with the President over the last two days (part 3 is tonight) and I've noticed something interesting: The president is not an idiot. Sure, I've been a supporter of his for a while now, but even I have come to expect him to fumble questions, repeat simple talking points, and occasionally look like a deer caught in the headlights from time to time. I was somewhat taken aback in this interview when the president was, in addition to being his usual likable self, quite eloquent and displayed a detailed grasp of many issues. Not that I didn't think the president didn't understand these issues before, it's just that I thought him incapable of expressing this verbally. At first I thought Bush's good performance might just be due to the fact that he's comfortable with O'Reilly and Fox in general, but I think it goes deeper than that. This experience to me speaks of how effective the MSM has been in portraying Bush as a dope. Even people like me, who support Bush, kind of expect him to come off as an idiot in venues like this. O'Reilly didn't exactly hammer him, but he asked tougher questions than John Kerry has fielded in many months, and Bush answered them very well, often going into a surprising amount of detail and talking over O'Reilly many times when he tried to contradict Bush. It makes me wonder what kind of impression we'd have of the president if we could really see him in action behind the scenes without the media spin. Like Reagan, Bush has been labeled the fool, and many people take that as fact. Of course, this plays right into Bush's hands, because the lowered expectations make it so that even a mediocre performance in the debates surprises everyone. If the same president shows up for the debates that was interviewed by O'Reilly, John Kerry is going to have his hands full.
Check out part 3 of the interview tonight. You might be surprised.