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Wowed by Bush PR Blitz, Green Groups Rush to Endorse Adminstration Policies
August 20, 2003
Satire by David Albrecht

WASHINGTON, DC, 18 August 2003 - Stunned by George W. Bush's amazing personal magnetism, telegenic style and above all by an unprecedented series of photo-op campaign stops, the nation's environmental establishment is now rushing to endorse his candidacy in 2004.

The announcement came yesterday at a joint press conference held by the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Nature Conservancy and the National Parks & Conservation Association. Though formal endorsements from each organization won't come for another month or so, the impromptu thumbs-up provides a big boost to Bush in a policy area which is usually problematic for the GOP.

Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club led off the conference with a brief explanation of the somewhat startling shift. "When President Bush came to California last week, his appearance was an epiphany for the Sierra Club and for me personally. When the footage ran on the evening news of him shoveling dirt, our switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree with people voicing their support for his environmental policies. Our website was buried in pro-Bush e-mails - it even overloaded and shut down briefly!" Asked what specific proposals made during the photo-op changed his mind, Pope blinked back tears and said, "It wasn't anything specific. It was just the way he held that brand-new shovel while wearing brand-new gloves and crisp, new outdoor clothing. Seeing that, I just knew that here was a trustworthy steward of our nation's public lands."

Bush visited California to promote his Healthy Forests Initiative. Critics of the plan had pointed out that although many national forests need thinning, relatively little of the plan was focused on clearing brush near communities at risk from wildfires. Until last week, they claimed that the plan's true aim was to open roadless areas and allow timber industry access to old-growth trees. But the impact of photographs and video footage of Bush standing near trees was more than enough to reverse this stance. "Everything about this visit, from the helicopter fly-in to the fact that he was standing really close to some of the trees, was utterly convincing. Here is a man who cares, and a man whom we can trust with our public lands," said John Adams, President of the NRDC. "And did you see the way he shoveled dirt? Wow!", Adams added.

Frank O'Donnell, Executive Director of the Clean Air Trust, noted at a separate event that he now understands and believes in the Bush administration's Clear Skies proposal. "Thanks to these visits, I now understand that the best way to make our nation's air cleaner is by removing limits on the amount of pollution electrical utilities can release. There's no better way to make our air cleaner than by making it dirtier." The Clean Air Trust announced via press release that it would now favor the elimination of CAFE and automobile emission standards in favor of a cooperative, market-based approach. The Trust's presidential endorsement is expected by the end of September.

One holdout to date among environmental organizations has been PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), a group associated with acts of vandalism and known for its confrontational style. White House sources say that Bush plans to gain their support by traveling to Newfoundland in March or April of 2004. Once on the ice with the seal hunters, the president will win over PETA's leadership and members by photogenically clubbing baby seals live on national television.

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