The Honorable Mark Langdale, President of the George W. Bush Foundation in Dallas, sent out a fundraising email today. He’s asking for donations. “Become a charter member.” It’s a tough letter to write. But Langdale and his crew do something remarkable: the letter and the homepage for the Center have a true Bushian flavor. You’ll recognize the preference for generalities, the catchword abstractions, the awkward turns of phrase meant to sound grand!
The letter opens with a semi apology:
I don’t have to remind you how America was tested time and again- at home and abroad- during the eight defining years of the George W. Bush presidency.
Then there’s the smoothing over complete with dramatic meaningless elipses and bold type-face for added punch:
The difficult decisions President Bush made in the face of each challenge were rooted in the core principles he held throughout his years of public service—the fundamental values that have guided America since her founding: Freedom . . . Opportunity . . . Responsibility . . . Compassion.
The restating and closing:
The George W. Bush Presidential Center will continue to advance the ideals and core principles that shaped his presidency during a defining period in America’s history.
Please accept this invitation to stand with President and Mrs. Bush by becoming a Charter Member of this vibrant, multi-disciplinary Center.
Thank you for your support.
See if you can read the Center homepage and not find yourself imitating Bush:
The Library and Museum… will tell the story of the consequential eight years of the Bush Presidency through the most advanced forms of current informational and presentational technologies to engage the visitor in a meaningful educational experience.
The phrase “informational and presentational technologies”: Did Will Ferrell write that?
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