Monday, November 08, 2004

Robotics Inc., Subtitle: What Was That Little Box on His Back?

Now that the election is over, there remains a piece of unfinished business: Whatever was that strange bulge in the back of President Bush's suit jacket that was visible during the three debates?

In an effort to find out, it seemed like a good idea to drop in on Georges de Paris, the longtime presidential tailor who got dragged into the bulge mystery when White House officials maligned him for what they called shoddy work.

Internet conspiracy theorists and some Democrats have insisted that the bulge was the outline of a radio receiver that got debate answers from an offstage adviser and transmitted them into a hidden presidential earpiece. But Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff, dismissed the bulge as nothing more than "a poorly tailored suit."

Ken Mehlman, the Bush campaign manager, went even further and said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "the gentleman responsible for the tailoring of that suit is no longer working for his administration."

In fact, Mr. de Paris is still making suits for Mr. Bush, and he was not at all happy to have four decades of work - he has been the tailor to every president since Lyndon B. Johnson - called into question.

"Well, I feel bad, but I cannot do anything," Mr. de Paris said in an interview on Friday in his shop on 14th and G Streets, just three blocks from the White House.

Mr. de Paris, 70, had been visited a few weeks earlier by The Hill, a weekly newspaper that covers Congress, and had told the reporter seeking to solve the bulge mystery that the protuberance was nothing more than a natural pucker that occurs when a man's jacket is pulled taut against his back. The Internet quickly deemed Mr. de Paris's assertion nonsense, and by last Thursday, so had The Hill. Citing sources in the Secret Service, The Hill reported that the bulge was the outline of a bulletproof vest.

The White House had earlier denied that it was, and stuck to that statement on Friday.
My theory: if the box is stamped 'Diebold' we may have an answer.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link