Andy On The State Of The Union

Andy Rooney Shares Some Thoughts About The President's Speech

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney.



When the president - any president we have - speaks to all of us, I try not to miss it on television, so I've seen a lot of speeches by a lot of presidents. I listened to President Bush the other night.

I have a clear opinion of which of our recent presidents gave the best speeches and which gave the worst but I'm not going to tell you because I don't want to make anyone mad. Some presidents, of course, have been good speakers but I didn't like what they said.

President Bush has made seven State of the Union speeches now. He looks pretty good giving a speech, I think.

President Bush didn't used to wear anything in his buttonhole. In the last six years though, he's had an American flag there. A lot of men wear the flag, particularly politicians running for office. You'd think that the people who make men's suits might make a suit for politicians with the American flag already built into it.

I wish President Bush would stop mispronouncing the word "nuclear" when he speaks.

He always calls it "nucular". "Free of nucular weapons…"…to acquire nucular weapons…to clean, safe nucular power." It makes you wonder how he graduated from Yale.

Wouldn't you think that Laura or one of the doormen at The White House would point out to him that the word is "nuclear", not nucular?

It always seems to me that a president should write the words he speaks himself but of course none of our presidents do. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address may have been the last Presidential address actually written by a President.

President Bush certainly doesn't write his speeches. Does this sound like George W. Bush: "Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are commitments of conscience and so it is our duty to keep them permanently sound."

The president certainly edits the speech he's given but no matter how much a president rewrites or rehearses what someone else has written; you can always hear the phrases that aren't really his. They sound written.

Presidents are always saying "Let us."

"Let us do that."

I always say to myself "Who me?"

If the president is going to read what someone else has written, I think the writer's by-line ought to be shown on screen at the end.

The words spoken by the president were not necessarily his except for "nucular."
Written By Andy Rooney
  • Daniel Schorn

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