April 03, 2007

Third time's a charm

And now the latest chapter in the saga of President Bush's "Democrat(ic)" problem. (Previous installments here: 1, 2, 3, 4.) In his remarks in the Rose Garden this morning on the emergency supplemental appropriations bill, Bush finally saw fit to correct himself on his use of "Democrat" (rather than "Democratic") as a modifier — and it only took him three tries to do it.

Let's go to the transcript. Opportunity #1:

Democrat leaders in Congress seem more interested in fighting political battles in Washington than in providing our troops what they need to fight the battles in Iraq.

Nope. Opportunity #2:

If Democrat leaders in Congress are bent on making a political statement, then they need to send me this unacceptable bill as quickly as possible when they come back.

Still no dice. Opportunity #3:

In a time of war, it's irresponsible for the Democrat leadership — Democratic leadership in Congress to delay for months on end while our troops in combat are waiting for the funds.

Jackpot! Sure, it's the kind of clumsy self-repair we've come to expect from Dubya, and he made the self-repair in the context of suggesting that Democrats are letting down our troops, but hey, at least it's something.

(Hat tip to the ever-vigilant Mr. Verb.)

[Update: Here's the audio. You can hear that Bush actually gets to the beginning of the word "Congress" before going back to correct "Democrat."]

Posted by Benjamin Zimmer at April 3, 2007 02:22 PM