EDITOR’S NOTE: This article appears in the February 23, 2004, issue of National Review.
Presidential Debate, October 23, 2004
Peter Jennings: “And now, gentlemen, we turn away from the economy and to another crucial topic. Mr. President, sir, we’ve all noticed a more healthy glow emanating from your skin–specifically, your face. Is there anything, sir, you’d like to tell us about that?”
President Bush: “About my face?”
Peter Jennings: “Yes, sir. As you know, Senator Kerry has been remarkably forthcoming about his experiences with male cosmetics and Botox injections–”
Senator Kerry: “Peter, if I could just interrupt here–”
President Bush: “Wait a minute. My face? What?”
Senator Kerry: “If I could just clarify, here, Peter–and by the way, a clarifying lotion is a really crucial part of my proposed nationwide skin-care regimen–if I could just clarify–”
President Bush: “You want to know what I put on my face, is that what this is?”
Peter Jennings: “Senator Kerry, we’ll have to let President Bush answer here. Yes, sir.”
President Bush: “Um . . . well, it’s more of a . . . you know . . . soap-and-water type situation.” [gasps from audience]
Peter Jennings: “I’ll have to ask the audience to remain quiet. Mr. President, sir, I have a follow-up question.”
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