In a nationally televised address Monday, President Bush urged all citizens, regardless of race, creed, color, or political affiliation, "to quiet down for just one minute" so he could have "a chance to think."
Every American has an inalienable right to free speech and self-expression," Bush said. "Nonetheless, I call upon the American people to hold off on it for, say, 60 seconds. Just long enough for me to get this all sorted out in my head."
"Please," Bush added.
While the president said achieving a unilateral peace and quiet "would not be easy," he hoped that citizens would respect his wish and work toward a temporary cease-talk so that he could can hear his own thoughts "for once."
"Make no mistake: It will take patience and sacrifice," Bush said. "But such drastic measures could lead to a better tomorrow for all of us, especially for your commander in chief."
Bush then closed his speech by exhaling sharply, tightly closing his eyes, and massaging his temples. "I just—Chr*st, I just need a g*dd*mn minute, you know?" he said.
"In these trying times for our president, we must show respect for his office, even if it means turning our car radios down, shushing our children, and turning off all fans," Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said. "Heck, the man just needs one measly minute."
Capitol Hill Democrats, however, have criticized Bush's call for silence, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) calling it "yet another example of Bush's inability to connect with everyday Americans, many of whom rarely, if ever, receive a moment to themselves."
"Where's their moment to think?" Pelosi said.