I just got around to watching Virginia Gov. Mark Warner — a presumptive ’08 Democratic presidential primary candidate — on a recording of This Week With George Stephanopoulos and much as I disliked him for his view (or lack thereof) on the Iraq cock-up, I found something else in the exchange on the show that made me like him even less.
I’ve always thought that one of the most telling traits of George W. Bush’s testy personality has been his irritation at being interrupted during interviews. It betrays his inflexibility and his unwillingness to respond in a substantive manner to direct questions. When an interviewer attempts to break into one of his monologues in order to get back to the point they were asking about, Bush imperiously cuts them off with “Let me finish….”
That’s the same tack Warner used several times with Stephanopoulos on Sunday. Warner, too, had some talking points to deliver, and he wasn’t about to be thwarted. It’s not as if his speech throughout the interview was so eloquent that it had to be presented in its entirety; he’s not someone who speaks in paragraphs. The impression is that of a business executive (which he is) unused to being challenged in even the mildest of ways, even when he’s talking to someone far better known than he is, in an attempt to garner a little national publicity.