WWBS? (What would Bush say?)

The results of our nomination speechwriting contest are in -- and there's no recount necessary.

By Salon Staff

Published September 1, 2004 6:45PM (EDT)

We asked members of the WELL and Table Talk to put words in Bush's mouth and offer up their own versions of the nomination speech he'll deliver at this week's convention. We're proud to share the winning entries now, from both communities. Enjoy them here, then join us to talk with the winners and serve up your own suggested Bushisms at Table Talk or the WELL.

Bring Hands Together

America is a great country wait for applause to die down.

But we face many challenges look directly into the camera in front of you with the red light. But by working together we spread both arms wide can meet these challenges, and with God's help bring arms together with palms pressed together and fingers point up we will meet those challenges wait for applause to die down.

Tonight, I have invited one American who has faced his own challenges and emerged victorious using your left hand point toward where we told you you wife (Laura) would be seated. His name is Alan Keyes ignore the gasps of derision coming from the press box. Despite being of African American descent, Mr. Keyes has emerged as the ultimate example of the American dream of entrepreneurship smile broadly. Mr. Keyes recognized that there was a demand in the marketplace for African Americans who would support Republican policies, and realized that by returning to the traditional values on which our great nation was founded, he could actually sell himself to wealthy white people wait for applause to die down. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Alan Keyes to our big tent turn to left (the side that we told you your wife -- Laura -- will be sitting) and bring hands together repeatedly.

-- Paul Lukasiak

A Man of My People

Fellow Americans, being here is super. Even with lots of people against me, you are for me. Even though lies have been told about me, you know the truth. When people question me, you answer. The truth does not matter, what matters is the way things are. It is easy for some people to act as if they know the truth, to say this happened, or that happened. But what do they know? Until we have spoken and cleared up things, people only know what happened. They don't know how things really are. There are people out there who say I shouldn't have been president this time, because I didn't win the majority of the votes, but we let them know that I am president. They said we didn't have sufficient reason for a war in Iraq, but we let them know we did and now we are in a war. And that war is not ending anytime soon, unless we say so. And what is more, we let them fight that war like traditional Americans. The men and women of America don't need flak vests; they are armored in what is right.

I am a cheerleader. I lead. I know what war is. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have avoided it during Vietnam. It was others who knew what war is, and went anyway. Now those people are trying to act like heroes. I did not approve of those ads from those gofastboat guys, but I say, when the truth comes out about a guy who, with no concern for the feelings of his family, or the feelings of any other person, goes out and risks his life, well, the truth must be told and it's guys like me who have to tell it.

In addition to being a cheerleader for America, I want you to know that I am proud to be an ex-alcoholic. You talk about a war! I quit drinking. I didn't need a government handout to do it. I quit on my own. Maybe some people find me weak because I used to drink, but I want to assure those people that alcoholism is a more complex thing than that. I want everyone to know that I still act like a drunk. There are people who say I am grandiose and a liar and I don't care how other people feel. Not so! That is all the disease of alcoholism, which I gave up. And -- I gave up liquor for the love of my good wife, a woman, and for my girls and my mom. I am not just a man of the people; I am a man of my own people. Those are family values.

It isn't the environment or healthcare that matters. It's me, and the kind of guy I am. I am proud to accept your nomination as president for a second term. I want to see that for me, for the world, and for my dad, the one-term president.

-- Laurel Hood

Ask the Av'rage 'Mer'can

I'm proud to stand here today, er, tonight, to 'cept my party's nom'nation for the office of prez'net of our great nation. God and I bless and thank each and every one of you for your confidence and prayers.

I know you prob'ly only s'lected me 'cause you want Laura to spend four more years as first lady. Isn't she a grand old lady? God bless her. I sure married above myself, did'n I? You all heard Laura speak earlier and I'm sure you'd like her up here talking now 'stead of me. But I gotta do this so bear with me.

My opponent claims he's 'porting for duty. Well, I'm already are on duty, been on duty almost four years now, and my leadership has made this a safer world. And you don't have to ask me. Ask the av'rage 'mer'can. He or she will tell you they are safer now with the color codes. They know now when to be 'fraid and when not to be 'fraid. I am proud to have a hand in this. We lib'rated two countries, made 'em safe for democracy. I is proud of that. We rid the world of an evil, evil, evil dictator who tried to kill my daddy. My mom sure liked that. It was something she could wrap her beautiful mind around.

Part of my duty is our 'conomy, and our nation's 'conomy is rebounding from the recession we inherited when we took office. New jobs are being created every day by 'terpeneurs who are the backbone of this great country. Some of these 'terpeneurs were 'puter people who set up landscaping companies raking leaves. I changed the overtime rules and made it possible for these 'terpeneurs not to pay overtime. This alone will add 3,000,000 good paying jobs in the next 24 months.

But I'm not only running on my record. I are running too on my plans for the future. Give me four more years and I'll give you four more tax cuts. Give me four more years and I'll save our country from evil wherever I find it. Give me four more years and I'll find oil in our national parks, but not in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. Drilling for oil, and harvesting our timber crop, will add another 3 or 4 million jobs. Give me four more years and I will appoint judges that agrees with me, er, agrees with the Cons'tution. Give me four more years and I'll put God back in our classrooms.

'Mer'ca is reached its finest hour. We is entering a era of when 'mer'ca is looked at to lead the world. There is great challenges facing 'mer'ca, and the choice for the 'mer'can voter is do he want to continue on a path of safety and 'conomic growth or do he want to take a chance on an unknown.

Thank you all for listening. God blesses all of you.

-- William Froelich

Don't Mess With Us

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and citizens who have signed the loyalty oath, I am pleased to accept your nomination. Together, we will finish going down the path that we began descending in 2001. (Applause)

I am proud to be on this podium with John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney. John is a man who, like me, is not afraid to legislate morality. (Applause) And it goes without saying that this country wouldn't be in the shape it's in without Dick. Together, we have a vision of America. And with your help, the help of the Supreme Court we will achieve that vision, no matter what it costs. (Applause)

I want to say a little bit about the challenges that lie before us and the challenges that we've lied about in the past. Four years ago, I stood before you and spoke of a time of unprecedented opportunity. I told you that times of abundance like times of crises test the character of America. Now, four years later, it is clear that both crises and abundance have provided me with more opportunities than I could have dreamed of. And I can say to you that we have seized those crises and that abundance and we have turned them into unprecedented opportunities to pursue the agenda of this administration as has never been done before. (Applause) Tonight we vow to the American public that we -- myself, Dick Cheney, and John Ashcroft -- will never cease to use crises and abundance as opportunities. (Applause)

Four years ago, I stood before you and said that our nation had been coasting through a time of prosperity. I told you that the path of resistance is always downhill. And I told you that America was ready for that change. I have kept my word (Applause.)

I told you that the previous president had embodied talents, charm and skill. I stood before you and spoke of the economic surplus, the public resources, and the public will, and I said it was time for new beginnings. I have kept my word. (Applause)

Four years ago, I told you that a generation shaped by Vietnam should remember the lessons of Vietnam. Today I give you this promise: There will never be any controversy over what George Bush did in Vietnam! (Applause.)

I told you that times of prosperity are a test of vision, but today I can tell you that we have safely evaded that test and that a new time has come. (Applause)

I come from Texas, where we say, "Don't mess with Texas." Before I took office, you didn't hear many Americans saying, "Don't mess with America," but now, thanks to my leadership, more people are saying, "Don't mess with us," at home and abroad.

I stood before you and said, "Give me a mandate and I will use it." Ladies and gentlemen, I have kept my word! And if you, the justices or the Congress give me another mandate, you can be sure that I will be true to my word again! (Applause.)

-- Teddi Fishman

Grave Danger of Being Terrified

I'm enameled by your nomination. Thank you for putting your faith in me, friends, your trust in me, your faith in trust funds in me, and your faithful trusty friends in me. It feels good, and it feels good to tell how good it feels.

We are going to win this election. I think. I'm confident that over time this will work out. Although, you don't give timelines to things like elections.

In my first term we've all saw what happens when we work together in a unilatarian way to get done what needs done. Take Iraq. Please. Har! Or education. We changed the standards of public schools, reformed them in a hysterical, er, historical way that left no child untested -- and now we see they is learning good.

This reform thing -- it's one of my better ideas. I know reform. Reform is a friend of mine. Kenneth Lay, though, is not a friend of mine, anymore. Not until he reforms, he isn't.

I promise to keep boldly reforming almost everything. I will boldly do away with all income tax whatsoever. Now before you Fretty Betties all worried about the deficit freak out, understand I will also introduce a bold new 30 percent sales tax on all groceries, clothing, soap and many other things Democrats like to buy.

Remember my bold decision to give $1,000 credits to American families last year? Well, once reelected, I similarily will mail another thousand dollars to each man, woman, child, pet and houseplant as a sort of "thank you" jester. This will cause consumption, which is good. This kind of forward thinking is what I encourage you all to turn around and focus on, too.

Yet, however, we shouldn't forget the events of recent history, at least not the good parts. I work hard to remember them, myself, and want to thank Laura for often reminding me. She's big on reminding me about lots of things, all day every day. You fellas know what I'm talking about.

Let's see, recession, corporate scandals, rising unemployment, stock market declines -- yup, I remember those. And then there's this: We all, each of us, is in grave danger of being terrified at any moment. But I am resolved to confront every threat that could bring sudden awfulness and suffering to this campaign.

Now, were mistakes made? Maybe, but as a wise man once said, "If you ain't mistakin', you ain't learnin'." Maybe I shouldn't've flew around playing superhero while the nancy boys in Europe snickered at my tights and my cape. Maybe I shouldn't've gone lumberin' around like a drunken bull in the global china shop. Still, we all must ask ourself: "Are we scared sillier than we was four years ago?" I believe the answer is yes. Scared straight. And we're all about straight, right? While John Kerry flip-flops and veers all over the road, we in the Good 'Ol Party hew to the straight and narrow.

God bless us, everyone, everyone here tonight.

-- Kevin Stephens

Four Score

"Four score and seven years ago"
Was quite a stirring speech.
Tonight I'll try my very best
Not to overreach.

Some say of me I'm dumb as dirt
But how can they really know?
My fumbled grammar is in jest
It's really just for show.

Friends and Romans (in Ohio)
Come and hear me orate
Laura and my lovely twins
Think I'm really great.

Don't worry about the war and all
The soldiers that have died
Just boycott Michael Moore
Whose ass I should have fried.

Now is the time of our dis-
content, at least that's what the polls say.
Well, cast a vote for Dick and me
And you will rue the day.

Hey wait a minute, who wrote that???
Should be "rule", OK?
That is what I really meant
Hey, don't go away ...

-- Eleanor Parker

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