October 12, 2004

This is the first and last time I'm going to mention Bush's bulge

People, people, people! Not only does indulging in dopey conspiracy theory make the left look idiotic, it helps Bush's campaign.

Remember Gersh's First Law of Bush Scandals: Karl Rove wants the media talking about ANYTHING other than the issues. Hey, maybe Rove started this whole rumor...

The more moderate line on this nutty conspiracy -- well, it may be nothing, but it's a legitimate story that the press is ignoring -- is undermined by the fact that the press (in the form of Knight-Ridder) went directly to Bush's tailor, who showed how an ill-fitting suit can bunch up in back.

But why was Bush wearing an ill-fitting suit! See, that's just the nature of conspiracy theories -- once you've decided that it might be a wire, no other explanation will ever be entirely satisfactory. Let's move on, for the good of our image and our cause.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Got to agree! I was so happy thinking that Kerry had cheat cards in the first debate, only to have my hopes beat down like Bush was in Debate #1. Bush with a ear piece would of done a whole lot better in that debate. He might've won it! We got to face reality, even those two idiots aren't stupid enough to cheat...

evidently, the Republican retort to the bulge in the suit is "They found out what the bump was under his jacket: it's his spine. Dems are confused cuz their candidate doesn't have one."

chalk one up to the funny GOPsters.

That's fascinating. Explain the pictures. You can't. They're inexplicable. That's no seam in a jacket. If you think it is, you're a gullible fool.

I'd say the only "possible" explanation beside a wire is a bulletproof vest. But it looks like a wire, and from what I've been reading, it's not that hard to get used to talking while listening with these things. I wouldn't put it past them to try a wire, why else don't they want their canidate photo'd from the back?

Thanks for proving my point. The guy who designed the suit -- and who has designed suits for Democratic and Republican presidents for many years now -- says it's a crease from a jacket that's too tight in the shoulders. But he must be wrong because you know it can ONLY be a wire (or a bulletproof vest, which the campaign says it's not). So forget any evidence to the contrary: why do no pictures of Bush in profile reveal anything in his ear? why would he use a bulky box in his back rather than the traditional receiver worn hidden at the waist or a wireless device? why didn't John Kerry see the box when he shook hands with Bush and patted him on the back before and after the debate? Most importantly, why, if they were going to have someone feeding him lines, didn't they choose a person who might not say things that made Bush look like a complete idiot? He did much better without the wire in the second debate.

But they didn't want him filmed from the back! That must prove something! Well, first of all, we don't know who put that clause into the memo, but I suspect the point was, as with the clauses about no reaction shots, to control the image of the candidate as tightly as possible. In any case, it was well known before the debate began that Fox had no intention of following that rules.

That's right, Fox News is the network that brought us these "incriminating" shots. I'm sure if they hadn't filmed Bush from the back, someone would say this was proof that Fox was trying to cover up the fact that he was wearing a wire.

Have you ever seen a suit jacket?

Uh, Dan, you might want to nip over to Salon for another photo of Bush, apparently - according to the "bunching suit" theory - wearing that ill-fitting jacket *under his T-shirt* at the ranch.


I'm not saying he has an earpiece that he used in the debate. That to me seems extremely hard to believe. But if you look at all these photos and say "there's nothing there," well, you're even more gullible than those who swear it's a secret transmitter.

Maybe I'm not making myself clear. The question of whether the bulge is really a bunching suit or whether it's something else benign doesn't interest me. Since it's not a wire -- for the reasons Roeper points out among others -- then the very fact of discussing it plays right into Bush's hands. Over on Romenesko I playfully suggested that Rove planted an inert box just to generate such a scandal. I look forward to that becoming a genuine theory any day now.

I still think it is a wire-- there were too many moments in that debate where it looked like he was trying to hear something. "Angels" would be an even more unsettling conspiracy theory. So what happens if we assume that Bush was wired? Absolutely nothing! And it surprises nobody that he would need a little speaking assistance-- as he mentioned tonight in his speech, English is not his first language.

It doesn't "hurt" Democrats to suggest to Bush was wired-- I have a feeling many nice Midwestern folks were suggesting the same thing to family members as they watched that debate. Engaging the possibility doesn't detract from attacks on the stupidity of Bush's substantive contributions to the debate.

well to dismiss the possibility of a bulletproof vest seems to me the height of hubris, after all this is one of the most despised presidents in history and one obsessed with fear and paranoia. I would be suprised if he went out in public not wearing one. But what is more ridiculous is too claim there is nothing there, that it is just a jacket. We've all worn nice jackets and they just DO NOT BUNCH UP LIKE THAT! There is clearly something there! The fact that the Bush camp won't admit that it's a vest (which doesn't really reflect poorly on Bush), but are insisting that it's nothing (which Dan seems to go along with like the pansy he is), indicates to me that it IS probably a wire of some kind (which would reflect very poorly on Bush and undoubtably cost him points). If it is a wire I'm sure it's not a conventional type. No doubt the earpiece is wireless, deep in the ear, with a short few feet range (bluetooth). The real receiver, on his back, would not be a conventional type as it would need lots of extra security sheilding to make sure no one listens in (as has happened in the past).

As for bush's lame answers that night, well the truth is they just reflect the Administrations lame positions! Cheney did not do much better without a wire. They just have nothing worthwhile (or even truthful) to say.

of course now the pictures of "something" on Bush's back in the third debate are out, and it looks more and more like a vest to me.

Two questions for all you deep thinkers, then:

1) why, in the second debate, would Bush say "hold on," when nobody on the stage was talking?

2) And why would a suit made by one of the world's best tailors, recently profiled in the New Yorker, for the President of the United States to wear on TV, have huge bumps and bulges in the back? The suits I buy off the rack at Kraas Brothers or Moe Ginsburg don't have shapes like that. No suit does.

When all this comes out in the future, Rove won't be revealed as a genius, just a crude operator who worked in perfect security because his critics were marginalized. Anyone who would believe that Bush's suit just had a rectangular bunch would believe anything his team said, and does.

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