'I Thought He Had To Go To The Bathroom'
Kids say the darndest things.
Five years ago today, when the president bravely followed orders from Andy Card and kept to the photo op's script, actual children encircled him. And while Bush may have praised the then-second graders for having the goat-reading skills of sixth graders, those kids are now in seventh grade.
A reporter tracked the kids down and reveals the Sarasota kids are just like American adults: by turns anti-Bush, jingoistic, misinformed and self-aggrandizing. Learn why, after the jump.
The scene: An elementary school in a poor neighborhood in Florida where everybody voted for Gore.
The drama: Nobody really knows. Bush himself insists to this day that he "was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on." (Weird enough, as the civilian world only got to watch the second plane strike the WTC.) Anyway, Card whispers something to Bush (again, who knows what?) and the kids are compelled to go along with the act despite the ominous change of mood.
* "His face just started to turn red," said Tyler, now 13 and in seventh grade. "I thought, personally, he had to go to the bathroom."So, Cheney's such a big fat tough guy, eh Democrats? Then why didn't he bomb this school as soon as Bush was out of there?
* "He looked like he was going to cry," said Natalia Jones-Pinkney, now 12.
* "All of us shared an experience," said Michael Alexander, now 15. "No one else can say that."
* "You can't judge a man on seven minutes," said 15-year-old Stevenson Tose'-Rigell, who was then a fifth-grader and was with Bush in the school library later that day. "What he did is what he could do."