WH Pool Report: Can Someone Give Me a Count on the Pothole Joke Edition

bovine_honor_guardA farm-fresh pool report, scented with the loamy aroma of cow manure. Highlights:


"The cows were munching feed that had been spread along the edge of the walkway, so that they formed a kind of bovine honor guard for the president as he walked past them. . . at one point the president stopped and patted a cow on the head."

" When asked if he would take some questions, the president responded by saying the Kuhles were looking for someone to milk a cow, and he suggested that yours truly should volunteer for the job. I offered to do so in return for a question (a pool reporter will go to any lengths). But the offer was apparently not deemed acceptable because we were immediately ushered back onto the pool bus."

"The mayor (sorry, no name) presented the Bushes with the key to the city at the end, but not before the president advised hin to fill the potholes."

"Your pooler asked Scott McClellan during the event in Prairie du Chien whether Bush had been watching or listening to Rumsfeld's testimony on the bus. He said the president had not watched or listened, but had been updated by staff 'a few times.'"

Well, it's not like anything depends on how Rumsfeld does today.

Full report after the jump.

[AP Photo/Gerald Herbert]

POOL REPORT #2, 5/7/04

Dubuque- Prairie du Chien

After rolling through the bucolic fields and past the town of Hazel Green, the president's bus turned left into the driveway of Da Lo Ke dairy farm for the day's first OTR. As the pool ran down the driveway to the back of the brick house, the president and Mrs. Bush were posing for pictures in front of three silver silos with the owners, the Kuhle family Dave and Lois and their son Kevin (no age, but teenage to young adult). We're told the farm was located in Hazel Green, Wisc. Take the first two letters of each of the Kuhle's first names and it will explain the farm's name.

The Kuhles then led the Bushes back past an open cow barn on the right into a larger barn that contained a tractor and a 50-yard long space that contained maybe 100 cows (Holsteins, according to Matt Cooper's intrepid reporting), arrayed in two pens on either side of a long walkway. The cows were munching feed that had been spread along the edge of the walkway, so that they formed a kind of bovine honor guard for the president as he walked past them. The Bushes and Kuhles walked all the way to the end, where they stopped, framed in a large doorway against a background of rolling fields. They stood chatting there for several moments; I couldn't hear anything of what they said. They then strolled back toward the pool; at one point the president stopped and patted a cow on the head.

The pool was then rushed outside, where several groups of backup cows could be seen, and around to the driveway where the bus was parked. The Bushes and the Kuhles walked up and posed for pictures. When asked if he would take some questions, the president responded by saying the Kuhles were looking for someone to milk a cow, and he suggested that yours truly should volunteer for the job. I offered to do so in return for a question (a pool reporter will go to any lengths). But the offer was apparently not deemed acceptable because we were immediately ushered back onto the pool bus.

The second OTR was in Lancaster, Wisc. The president stopped on the town square in front of the Grant County Courthouse. There was an enthusiastic crowd of hundreds of people there. He worked the rope line for about five minutes, with Karl Rove and Joe Hagin looking on. He then went to a small platform directly under a flagpole flying the American and Wisconsin flags. The backdrop was Main Sreet USA brick buildings, a pharmacy, a clothing store. The first lady was at his side, and his remarks were a truncated version of the stump speech: honoring Laura, winning the war on terror, the improving economy.

Some quotes (check against transcript):

"We're on a bus trip because I'm out asking for the vote," the president said. He said he would "like to be your president for four more years."

"I'm not really here to politick you too much, but I've got a plan to win this war on terror" and bring prosperity. "I've got a plan to keep us going." He mentioned the 288,000 new jobs and said part of the progress "has to do with making sure you get to keep more of your own money."

"My job is to rally the spirit of this great country."

No mention of the prisoner abuse scandal. The mayor (sorry, no name) presented the Bushes with the key to the city at the end, but not before the president advised hin to fill the potholes. You saw the rest.

Dick Stevenson

NY Times

POOL REPORT #2A, 5/7/04

Your pooler asked Scott McClellan during the event in Prairie du Chien whether Bush had been watching or listening to Rumsfeld's testimony on the bus. He said the president had not watched or listened, but had been updated by staff "a few times."

"He's heard he's done a good job and appreciates Secretary Rumsfeld keeping Congress informed about the steps being taken to keep something like this from happening again and holding those responsible accountable," McClellan said.

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