“Go shopping” – he’s said it now
One of the famous quotations of recent years that were never said, along with Tony Blair’s “whiter than white”, was George Bush’s injunction to the American people to “go shopping” after 9/11 to defy the terrorists.
In Decision Points, p443-4, Bush quotes from the speech he actually gave at O’Hare Airport, Chicago, in late September 2001:
One of the great goals of this nation’s war is to restore public confidence in the airline industry. It’s to tell the traveling public: Get on board. Do your business around the country.
Later, I would be mocked and criticized for telling Americans to ‘go shopping’ after 9/11. I never actually used that phrase, but that’s beside the point. In the threat-filled months after 9/11, traveling on airplanes, visiting tourist destinations, and, yes, going shopping, were acts of defiance and patriotism.
So, just as Blair never used the phrase attributed to him but said something that meant the same (he said “we have to be very careful … that we are purer than pure”), Bush meant what he didn’t say at the time, but now, nine years later, he has said it.
White House photo of President George W Bush at O’Hare Airport by Eric DraperTagged in: george bush, quotations
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