This year being the 55th anniversary of network television broadcasting in the United States, Congress designated last Friday as "National Television Day." President Bush honored the occasion by making all personal appearances in the guise of his favorite character from his favorite sitcom show: "Thing" from The Addams Family.
In a prepared speech to a packed pressroom, Bush stated that "forty years ago The Addams Family was ground-breaking in that it presented the first physically handicapped character onto a prime-time television show. "Thing" may have been disembodied but he had a good, loving soul; and the audience was encouraged to laugh with him, not at him. In addition, way before Chico and the Man, and a decade before Maria Rodriguez ran the fix-it shop on Sesame Street, they introduced the first Hispanic character- Gomez Addams."
At that point, President Bush opened the floor for questions. But first he stated that he would only answer questions using his hand. Many on the press floor saw Karl Rove's own hand in that decision. An Oval Office meeting was held after last week's Tim Russert interview to determine how to protect the President in the future from speaking in public. This may have been the result of that meeting.
For each question from the press corps regarding the economy, the deficit, jobs, his military service record, the war in Iraq, and Gay marriage, the President's hand would pause for a moment in midair, and then give the appropriate gesture or wave. When a reporter asked if, like a similar sounding family name- the presidential Adams Family -he had any fears that he and his father would become the second father and son duo to have only one term in office, the President proceeded to gesticulate in a way that quickly ended the press conference.