George W. Bush photo

Remarks at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

May 04, 2002

The President. Thank you very much, Steve. Mr. Vice President, members of the White House Correspondents' Association, ladies and gentlemen, Laura and I are honored to be here tonight. Thanks for the invitation.

What a fantastic audience we have tonight: Washington power brokers, celebrities, Hollywood stars, Ozzy Osbourne. [Laughter]

[Mr. Osbourne bowed and blew kisses to the crowd.]

The President. Okay, Ozzy. [Laughter] Might have been a mistake. [Laughter]

The thing about Ozzy is he's made a lot of big hit recordings: "Party With the Animals"; "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath"; "Face in Hell"; "Black Skies"; and "Bloodbath in Paradise." Ozzy, Mom loves your stuff. [Laughter]

And Drew Carey is our entertainment tonight. Drew has a fun TV show called "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" which is totally improvised. Drew, got any interest in the Middle East? [Laughter]

Last year at this dinner, I showed some photos straight out of the Bush family photo album. Tonight I'm going to show you some actual, never-seen-before photos taken by the White House photographers over the past 15 months. We've created, just for you, this little slide show of what life is really like inside the Bush White House.

So Karen, if everyone's in the seats you've assigned them—[laughter]—hit the projector.

[First slide.]

When I look back over the last year, I think I've grown in office. I'm much more focused. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

I feel relaxed. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

I mean, occasionally there are moments where I feel a little stress. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

I may have aged a bit. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

One of the great things about being in the White House is having Laura close by. Whenever she drops by my office, my day is brighter.

[Slide change.]

She helps me in a million ways. Here she is helping me pronounce "Azerbaijanis." [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

We have two dogs. This is our dog Barney. I tell him with eyebrows like that, he ought to be a Senator. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

You can tell Barney's in some trouble here. This is the day he chewed up the list of undisclosed locations, and we couldn't find Dick. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

The little guy keeps a lookout like this hour after hour. [Laughter] I kind of wish Tom Ridge had never had that talk with him about homeland security. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

Now, this is our dog Spot. People often ask me how I came up with that name. [Laughter] I don't know; I'm just kind of a creative guy. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

The thing about Spot is that she is— she actually thinks she's the President. [Laughter] Here she is coming back from a fundraiser for the American Kennel Club. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

But she is truly a great canine American, and I value her counsel—[laughter]—just as I value the counsel of others on the staff. [Laughter]

We have a very experienced, mature team of professionals down at the White House.

[Slide change.]

This is Josh Bolten. [Laughter] He's the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. America should sleep better at night knowing that this calm, level-headed man—[laughter]—is helping to guide our Nation.

[Slide change.]

This is Nick Calio, the head of our Office of Legislative Affairs. I had just said to him, "So, Nick, what are the chances of the Senate passing ANWR?" [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

Nick really prepares me well when congressional leaders come down for meetings. Here he is testing out a whoopee cushion that we're going to use on Senator Byrd. [Laughter]

But we really have a highly motivated group down at the White House. No matter what the task at hand, each of us gives 110 percent.

[Two slide changes.] [Laughter]

The truth is, the door to the Oval Office has a little peephole. This is Karen Hughes peeping in on me. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

This is Karl Rove peeping in on me. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

This is Condi Rice peeping in on me. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

Spot has her own peephole. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

This is Andy Card peeping in on me. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

And ladies and gentlemen—[laughter]— this is the Vice President of the United States, looking through a peephole. And Dick, I hope you're not doing what it looks like you're doing. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

This photo actually has nothing to do with anything. [Laughter] I thought I'd show it to you, however, because it's the only known photo in existence of Alan Greenspan smiling. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

This is Ari Fleischer, of course. I was chewing him out here. [Laughter] I'm saying, "Ari, I am sick and tired of you not fully answering all the wonderful questions asked by our hard-working White House press corps. Are you sure, Ari, we're not leaking enough?" [Laughter] "Are you sure that we've given them enough access to me? I've got an idea, I'll do more inter-views—with ‘Baseball Tonight."' [Laughter]

Now, part of the job of a President is to meet with representatives of special interest groups.

[Slide change.] [Laughter]

Here I am meeting with representatives from the American Cloning Council. [Laughter]

[Slide change.]

I try to work with Republicans and Democrats alike. For political reasons, some Democrats prefer that it not be known they are working with a Republican President, so they slip in the back door— like Hillary Clinton here.

[Slide change.] [Laughter]

It's not all work, of course. One day, I decided to show some of the staff the White House bowling alley. Boys and girls, there is a reason you wear those special bowling shoes.

[Three slide changes.] [Laughter]

Of course, another job of the President is dealing with the White House press corps. You ask some pretty tough questions, but to tell you the truth, I don't think you've laid a glove on me.

Here I am after our last press conference.

[Slide change.] [Laughter]

In closing tonight, I thought about turning serious and talking about all we've been through since I was here last year. But then I decided this wasn't the time or the place. You came to have a good time; we've got Drew Carey waiting to entertain us.

So instead, I'm going to leave you with one last thought and one last photo of our dog Spot.

[Slide change.]

I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, is this a great country or what? [Laughter]

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:55 p.m. in the International Ballroom at the Washington Hilton. In his remarks, he referred to Steve Holland, outgoing president, White House Correspondents' Association, who introduced the President. He also referred to ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

George W. Bush, Remarks at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/215648

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