''This was purely an example,'' Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said.
He said the broad goal was to displace foreign oil imports, from anywhere, with domestic alternatives. He acknowledged that oil is a freely traded commodity bought and sold globally by private firms. Consequently, it would be very difficult to reduce imports from any single region, especially the most oil-rich region on Earth.
Asked why the president used the words ''the Middle East'' when he didn't really mean them, one administration official said Bush wanted to dramatize the issue in a way that ''every American sitting out there listening to the speech understands.'' The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because he feared that his remarks might get him in trouble.
Now, I can certainly understand how some speech at a VFW might get taken out of context, or if W was doing one of his new Q&A's, he might use bold examples to sell his overall message, but uhh, wasn't this language in the State of the Union Address? You know, the one that is Constitutionally mandated (well, in one form or another)?
Listen, I think all SOTUs are so much balderdash, and I wish we'd go back to the Jeffersonian ideal of handing in a written list of "stuff I'd like to git done in the next year or so," as opposed to displacing "Fear Factor" or whatever was on. But, if we're going to have this farcical "speech" with 60 breaks for applause (and scowls), then let's at least try to say what we mean, or maybe agree to wait say, 72 hours before we go about spinning the words our speechwriters spent weeks putting together.