Opinion: ‘Bush’ pulls ‘McCain’ in for an endorsement, ‘SNL’-style


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Even as once-stalwart Republicans like Colin Powell and Scott McClellan jump ship to support the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, President Bush will save the day for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

So says ‘Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday,’ an election-season special from the folks who bring you the long-running NBC comedy program, which has seen its ratings soar this year thanks to its sharp political satire.


Palin (TIna Fey) and Bush (Will Ferrell) get along like a house afire (‘My God, you are folksy,’ he tells her admiringly), while McCain (Darrell Hammond) looks -- and acts -- as if the Oval Office is the last place he wants to be.

You may recall that after clinching the GOP nomination in March, McCain kept Bush -- who had remained neutral during the primaries -- cooling his heels on the White House’s North Portico when he came to receive the president’s endorsement.

On Thursday, the same day the sketch was broadcast, the Washington ...

... Times -- the conservative-leaning paper in the nation’s capital -- published an interview with McCain in which the GOP standard-bearer ‘lashed out at a litany of Bush policies and issues that he said he would have handled differently as president.’

And while McCain has tried to stay as far away from the unpopular president as possible, Obama has repeatedly raised the Arizona senator’s strong pro-administration voting record -- something the ‘SNL’ writers picked up on Thursday night:

HAMMOND AS McCAIN: ‘Good evening, my friends. Mr. President, always a pleasure.’

FERRELL AS BUSH: ‘Good to see you, John. Hey, let’s get a photo of this; it’ll really help your campaign out. Now let me do this: I, George W. Bush, endorse John McCain and Sarah Palin with all my heart. . . .’ (McCAIN tries to drift out of frame but is pulled back by BUSH.) FERRELL AS BUSH (cont’d): ‘John was there for me 90% of the time over the last eight years. When you think of John McCain, think of me, George W. Bush. Think of this face. When you’re in the voting booth, before you vote, picture this face right here. A vote for John McCain is a vote for George W. Bush. (to McCAIN) You’re welcome. So I want to be there for you, John, for the next eight years.’ FEY AS PALIN: ‘The next 16 years!’ FERRELL AS BUSH (to an off-camera photographer): ‘Let’s get a safety. I think I blinked on that last shot. Thumbs up, everybody. But most of all I support them because . . . live from New York, it’s ‘Saturday Night’!’

-- Leslie Hoffecker

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