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Bush Speaks on the Economy, But Who’s Listening?

He’s no Smith Barney.

In another of what has been a long string of uncomfortable Rose Garden speeches, President George W. Bush this morning tried to reassure Americans that the economy is sound, that their investments are safe.

Here’s what the American people need to know: that the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets. We are a prosperous nation with immense resources and a wide range of tools at our disposal. We’re using these tools aggressively … Fellow citizens: We can solve this crisis — and we will.

Trouble is, fellow citizens aren’t listening.

After eight years of Bush — years that saw the administration lie to go to war, ignore the balance of powers, spy on citizens without warrants, etc. — Americans simply don’t trust this White House.

It’s bad timing.

Just at a moment in history when the country needs a trustworthy leader, none is around to boost its confidence.

John Morton Blum, professor emeritus at Yale University who once had Bush in his classroom, said recently that his former pupil is a worse president than James Buchanan — the infamous 19th-century figure who fiddled while the South seceded.

Over the course of Bush’s eight-minute speech, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 84 points. Ten minutes later, it was down another 170. For the day it’s down 290 (as of 12:25 pm).

The only question now is which Bush administration debacle will go down in greater infamy: the ruination of the economy or the disastrous Iraq War.

Rove legacy, indeed.

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