Kutztown, PA - In perhaps his best malapropism to date, President Bush insisted on referring to the upcoming Presidential election as an "erection" - a mistake he made no less than 35 times during an "Ask President Bush" event in this small, Keystone State town. The event, designed to allow members of the public to question the President on a range of topics, soon degenerated into a string of questions clearly designed to embarrass Mr. Bush. The President on his part appeared oblivious to the situation.
The President began the session by informing the crowd of about 1,500 that this was perhaps the "biggest erection in American history". This was greeted by sniggers throughout the crowd as neighbor asked neighbor if they'd heard correctly. Mr. Bush confirmed the crowd's suspicion when he told them that that he was "looking forward to going head-to-head with Senator Kerry during this ‘erection' season."
Mr. Bush then launched into a litany that brought the crowd near hysterics and his advisors near breakdown. Following is a partial transcription of the President's comments: "I ask all of you to work with me on this erection, to make this one of the most successful erections for the Republican Party . . . This erection isn't about me, it is about all of you . . . Remember that, this erection is for you, you the American people, this erection is in your hands. . . I, we all should, view this erection as a gift to future generation of Americans . . . I need your support to make this erection matter, Dick and I will be working hand in hand, but this erection won't happen without all of you pitching in and doing the hard, hard work . . . I'm pulling for the people, I'm pulling for you all; and I hope that on erection day, as you each go into that little booth, you'll be pulling for me."
Mr. Bush, who misinterpreted the crowd's loud cheers during his remarks, opened the floor to questions - despite the clear agitation of his aides. The following are selections for the Q&A portion of the event:
Q: Mr. President, thank you for being here today. I will be a freshman in high school and wondered if you could tell me about your first erection?
A: Yes, yes, my first erection was probably while I was in high school, probably about your age in fact, at Philips Andover. It was a wonderful feeling, I can tell you that. I hope you'll have an erection yourself.
Q: Mr. President, you've been involved with many campaigns and erections - you think this is going to be an especially hard erection?
A: Every erection is hard in its own way - but I think John Kerry, who's no stranger to the erection process, is going to be pushing hard and Dick and I are going to need to push back even harder if we want to claim this erection.
Q: Mr. President, I know that you are a man of traditional values; do you think that I, as a woman, should be involved in the erection process, or are erections best left to men?
A: Thank you for that question. When it comes to an erection, I believe that everyone needs to come together and work together to make sure that everything is in hand and that the results are satisfying for everyone . . .
Before the event could continue in this vein, a campaign worker appeared to "trip" into the President. A crowd of aides then rushed to the President and whisked him out of the building to the campaign bus. A number of aides that remained behind informed the crowd that the President was late for his next meeting but that he'd appreciated the warm response of the people of Kutztown. The same aides informed the media that "not one word of this is printed . . .ever."