George W. Bush's two term as president, has been one of the most controversial and criticized presidencies in U.S. history. Many people consider him to be the worst and least intelligent president ever, and some go as far to say that he along with his administration are behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Due to this, many people including myself are not only amazed that he was able to be elected to not just one but two terms in office, but how he even got there in the first place. Alexandra Pelosi's documentary Journeys with George, provides behind the scenes coverage of his 2000 campaign trail while he was in the midst of the Republican primaries.
I thought it was very interesting that this documentary was shot through the eyes and perceptions of not only a registered Democrat, but the daughter of Nancy Pelosi who is a renowned figure of the Democratic Party. Despite her loyalty to the opposing party, Pelosi was able to put her bias aside and never displayed nor promoted her political ideologies in the film other than mentioning the fact that she is a registered Democrat. However, that is not to say that she never gave the former president a run for his money. There are numerous scenes in which she pushes Bush's buttons such as the scene towards the end of the documentary when she asks him why she should vote for him.
Pelosi provides viewers with an insight as to what went occurred on the campaign bus. Behind the scenes, Bush was cracking jokes and having a good time as a way to cope with the stresses of running for office and was always the life of the party. She interviewed those who advised Bush throughout his campaign in 2000 such as Karl Rove, and displayed that his behaviors and actions were under the guidance of many people. Another thing that was depicted was the toll that traveling on a campaign took on both her and her fellow journalists who were covering Bush's trail. It was revealed that the chaos and tediousness of life on the Bush campaign trail took a draining toll on Pelosi and the other journalists who at times were struggling to preserve their sanity.
Journey's with George also uncovers the tactics led him to win the Republican nomination for president. Bush's advisors were well aware of both his strengths and weaknesses. They as well as some of the public were aware that Bush does not do the best job of conveying that he is the most intellectual person out of the other candidates. However, they knew that his biggest strength was his ability to light up a room through his sense of humor and personable nature. Therefore, they played from this strength and used the former presidents ability to charm as a means to get votes as their main tactic. In one portion of the film, one of his advisors states that he is an amazing hand shaker. Also, Pelosi asked a supporter of his before one of his campaign rallies what they like about Bush's policies and message. The supporter responded that he just liked him.
In the end, I really enjoyed watching this film because it showed what it is like to be on a campaign and was humorous at times. Pelosi also did a great job of showing that Bush basically won the nation by making the race into a popularity contest. Although Bush was not the most articulate speaker of the candidates that year, he was the one that the average Joe would choose to have a beer with and that ultimately lead to victory in both the Republican primaries and the 2000 presidential election.