Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

But Will It Play in Peoria?

Posted by MEC on February 1, 2007

For too many years, Bush has made political capital out of his faux-folksy act, but it seems that “the Heartland” finally has his number.

On Tuesday, President Bush popped in for a surprise visit to the Sterling Family Restaurant, a homey diner in Peoria, Ill. It’s a scene that has been played out many times before by this White House and others: a president mingling among regular Americans, who, no matter what they might think of his policies, are usually humbled and shocked to see the leader of the free world standing 10 feet in front of them.

But on Tuesday, the surprise was on Bush. In town to deliver remarks on the economy, the president walked into the diner, where he was greeted with what can only be described as a sedate reception. No one rushed to shake his hand. There were no audible gasps or yelps of excitement that usually accompany visits like this. Last summer, a woman nearly fainted when Bush made an unscheduled visit for some donut holes at the legendary Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago. In Peoria this week, many patrons found their pancakes more interesting. Except for the click of news cameras and the clang of a dish from the kitchen, the quiet was deafening.

…As Bush signed a few autographs and shook hands, a man sitting at the counter lit a cigarette and asked for more coffee. Another woman, eyeing Bush and his entourage, sighed heavily and went back to her paper.

I almost feel sorry for the White House aide who was responsible for setting up the usual Potemkin Village and mistakenly let Bush be exposed to real people instead.

5 Responses to “But Will It Play in Peoria?”

  1. Eli said

    Wow. That is beautiful. I wish I could have seen the look on his face as he struggled to comprehend, and then, finally, did.

  2. […] What I wouldn’t give to have been there to see that; to see the priceless look on Dubya’s face as it gradually dawns on him that he is not, in fact, universally loved.  That he does not bestride the earth like a colossus.  That outside of his realityproofed 24-7 Republican bubble, most people think he’s just a stupid, annoying git.  I bet he’s still trying to process it. (”They musta been in shock.  Yeah, that’s it, they were paralyfied by mah radiance and decisiviness!”) (h/t Mercury Rising) […]

  3. Charles said

    Hm… this story looks familiar somehow.

    It is one that bears repeating.

  4. MEC said

    “Hm… this story looks familiar somehow.”

    Eep! And I read PW’s post earlier! Can I blame the deadline at work for killing brain cells?

  5. Charles said

    Well, it’s not like that could ever happen to me.

    (wink, wink).

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