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Does Bush Have Pre-Senile Dementia?
Posted on Feb 6, 2006
The video below juxtaposes two clips of Bush speaking at debates—one during the 1994 Texas gubernatorial campaign, the other during the 2004 presidential campaign. You will probably be shocked to see how—there is no other word for it—articulate a public speaker our current president was a mere 12 years ago.
This video has been around since late 2004, but it’s new to Truthdig, which saw it for the first time at a Super Bowl party last night along with a group of other first-timers. Figuring that some of our readers may have missed it the first time around, too, we’re presenting it now.
The story behind this video is as follows:
In the fall of 2004, James Fallows, a former speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, wrote an article for The Atlantic Monthly about Bush and John Kerry’s debating style called “When George Meets John.” (It’s behind a registration wall at the Atlantic, but can be read in full here.) Fallows had seen the 1994 gubernatorial debate footage, and was himself shocked at the difference between Bush in 2004 and 1994. He wrote:
After the publication of the article, the Atlantic published a letter to the editor from Joseph Price, a doctor in Carsonville, Mich., who speculated that Bush’s “[s]lowly developing cognitive deficits, as demonstrated so clearly by the President, can represent only one diagnosis, and that is ‘presenile dementia’!”
The letter understandably caused some degree of controversy, and The Boston Globe ran an article looking into both the claim and the author of the letter, Dr. Price. According to the Globe:
What happened next is that Bruce Bendinger, a college textbook publisher from Chicago, saw Dr. Price’s letter in the Atlantic and decided to get hold of the footage of the 1994 gubernatorial debate for himself. He describes it on his website:
So a friend of a friend of Bendinger’s got in touch with Fallows from the Atlantic, and then Bendinger and another friend put together the video that Truthdig is linking to below.
—Posted by Blair Golson.
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