October 29, 2003

Bush Steps Away From Victory Banner

The _resident is a disturbed individual.

New York Times: Gen. Wesley K. Clark, for one, said that Mr. Bush's comments blaming the sailors "for something his advance team staged" were "outrageous."

Published on Wednesday, October 29, 2003 by the New
York Times
Bush Steps Away From Victory Banner


WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 The triumphal "Mission
Accomplished" banner was the pride of the White House
advance team, the image makers who set the stage for
the president's close-ups. On May 1, on a golden
Pacific evening aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln,
they made sure that the banner was perfectly captured
in the camera shots of President Bush's speech
declaring major combat in Iraq at an end.


BUSH TRIES TO BLAME TROOPS FOR WHITE HOUSE PHOTO OP
Bush said the "Mission Accomplished sign, of course,
was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln,
saying that their mission was accomplished. I know it
was attributed somehow to some ingenious advance man
from my staff. They weren't that ingenious, by the
way."
(DOD Photo)

But on Tuesday in the Rose Garden, Mr. Bush publicly
disavowed the banner that had come to symbolize what
his critics said was a premature declaration that the
United States had prevailed.

"The `Mission Accomplished' sign, of course, was put
up by the members of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln,
saying that their mission was accomplished," Mr. Bush
told reporters. "I know it was attributed somehow to
some ingenious advance man from my staff. They weren't
that ingenious, by the way."

Well, yes and no. After the news conference, the White
House press secretary, Scott McClellan, carefully
elaborated on the president's words.

The banner "was suggested by those on the ship," he
said. "They asked us to do the production of the
banner, and we did. They're the ones who put it up."

The man responsible for the banner, Scott Sforza, a
former ABC producer now with the White House
communications office, was traveling overseas on
Tuesday and declined to answer questions. He is known
for the production of the sophisticated backdrops that
appear behind Mr. Bush with the White House message of
the day, like "Helping Small Business," repeated over
and over.

Mr. Bush's Democratic competitors for president
immediately pounced on his disavowal.

Gen. Wesley K. Clark, for one, said that Mr. Bush's
comments blaming the sailors "for something his
advance team staged" were "outrageous."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Posted by richard at October 29, 2003 07:23 AM