Yet Bush's advisers, particularly Karl Rove, exerted enormous pressure on him to go out every day to talk about anything -- even if no one was listening. Each year, for example, we were asked to produce three entirely separate statements to commemorate St. Patrick's Day. And we crafted remarks for so many Hispanic-themed ceremonies that the president finally stood up in the Oval Office and told his speechwriters, "No más."
The Hispanic-themed comments were an outgrowth of the administration's all-out push for comprehensive immigration reform. As the president's proposal became more controversial, Rove -- on one of his over-caffeinated days -- persuaded Bush to give speech after speech, each time hoping that somehow they'd find the magic words to turn things around. Bush, who when given a moment to collect his thoughts could be a persuasive speaker, was talking so often that his words on the subject lost their presidential heft. Critics noted that his message seemed muddied and his arguments contradictory or confusing.
Well, when you are trying to put a giant swindle over on American voters, the best you can hope for is that your message comes across as muddied, contradictory, and confusing.