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“BUSH'S AIDES are bracing for the release of two behind-the-scenes accounts of the president's 2000 presidential campaign — one a book, the other a documentary film — that reveal a wisecracking, prankish side seldom seen in public. Both portray the candidate as a relaxed, but often culturally challenged, cutup.” — Associated Press

Ari Fleischer: We've been getting a lot of requests for comments on the forthcoming book and movie detailing the President's behavior on the campaign trail, so we thought we'd set this time aside to take some questions dealing with these two items.

Q: Ari, is it true that the President has never heard of "Friends"?
A: Obviously, this is absurd. The President's TiVo records as many as six separate "Friends" episodes in a single day. In fact, the President is such a big fan that he has devised a mnemonic device derived from the convention used in naming "Friends" episodes to help him remember important foreign policy issues. For example, he calls Israel, "The one with the holy sites considered sacred by three of the world's major religions, whose practitioners each believe they are God's chosen people, thereby assuring that the land known as 'Palestine' will never know peace in our time."
The European Union is "The one with a loose conglomeration of nations whose unnecessarily generous welfare states attract thousands of radical immigrants from the Middle East, who live off the taxpayers' largesse while constructing diabolical schemes to destroy the very culture that feeds, houses, and cares for them."

Q: Are there any others, Ari? What about something like Somalia, that's been getting a lot of attention lately.
A: To be honest, the President hasn't gotten around to that yet, so in the absence of a final answer, he's using "The One With Chandler's Dad" for now.

Q: Mr. Bruni's book maintains that the President liked to pat bald-headed reporters on the head. Comment?
A: This is actually true, and was always done in a light-hearted, joking manner. The fat reporters he would playfully punch in the gut, and for the attractive female reporters, he would roll his eyes and silently mouth "hubba-hubba" behind their backs.

Q: Is Chuck Norris really the President's favorite actor?
A: Chuck Norris, for obvious reasons, is the President's favorite action star. His favorite actor is the underrated Jim Broadbent, who was so deservedly recognized with an Academy Award nomination for "Iris," but whom the President feels was even more delightful in "Moulin Rouge," a movie that the President called "divine, if a little slow in the middle third."

Q: The President is accused of living on a diet of "peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Fritos and Cheese Doodles" while on the campaign trail. Is this true?
A: As you all know, the President is a firm believer in exercise and a well-rounded diet, so I think to be totally accurate, you'd need to add cotton candy, hot pretzels and freeze pops to that list.

Q: Did the President watch the Grammy awards?
A: The President came away from the show impressed with the genre-bending approach of hip-hop pioneers OutKast, but lately, he's more into the sweet sounds of our own Attorney General.

Q: Does the President have a comment on what looks to be the likely cancellation of the critically acclaimed, but ratings poor, television show, "Once and Again"?
A: The President has indicated that, God forbid, if something were to happen to Laura, he thinks that Sela Ward would make an elegant first lady. He also thinks it is a shame that the American public has yet to embrace a show with such fine acting and subtle dramatic turns, while mindless claptrap like Fear Factor and "According to Jim" have been renewed for additional seasons. This President is deeply saddened by this.

Q: In his defense of the President, Rush Limbaugh said that "George W. Bush knows this country, and he knows who you are, and he knows what's best." I was wondering if you could comment on this.
A: Clearly the President recognizes America's obsession with these issues. Like anyone, he is eagerly waiting to see if Dr. Greene has a reoccurrence of his brain tumor, if President Bartlett gets re-elected, and to find out, once and for all, if Rosie O'Donnell is really a lesbian. This kind of mindless claptrap is important to America, and it is therefore important to President Bush.

Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner
are the authors of
"My First Presidentiary:
A Scrapbook by George W. Bush."

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