“That part of the world….”

The fine folks at TPM media posted a story about Bush’s use of the term “That part of the world” when referring to the devastated New Orleans region. Check out the story here.

I wonder why he uses that term? It’s as if in our presidents mind, New Orleans is overseas or at least very far removed from his “world”. And what exactly makes a place like New Orleans “that part of the world” to President Bush. Is it the geography he’s referring to or the economic climate of the region?

Maybe it’s no wonder that his administration has been so inactive in restoring the gulf coast region in the aftermath of Katrina. To them, it’s just so darn far away. I live in Arizona and I find the president’s choice of words troubling. I wonder how those in “that part of the world” feel? ugh.


21 thoughts on ““That part of the world….”

  1. isn’t new orleans in the south? if it’s just a figure of speech that Texans use, then why is he referring to a neighboring state as “that part of the world”?

  2. it just is man, i don’t why anymore than I know why we say any of the other things we say here. 🙂 it is totally possible that he is either purposely or carelessly dissing them, but when “I” here him say it being from a “part of the country” different than you it’s harmless and not worth even mentioning.

    and for the record, i am not a fan of his. i just thought i’d give you some more info to balance things a little.

  3. I’m from the south too, however that’s the south of England. Rich, I think that phrase is likely reflective of thinking of ‘a “part of the country” different from you’, as you point out. But I think the point is that if you’re president you represent all the states equally, and there shouldn’t be a part of the country ‘different from you’.

  4. It is important to remember that he could have just accidentally exchanged ‘world’ for ‘country.’ “That part of the country” would have been a fitting phrase for the occasion. Most human beings make innocent little exchanges like this everyday. Sometimes I mistakenly find myself calling my apartment a house. Sometimes I say “get your car in the butt” rather than “get your butt in the car,” and then I chuckle.

    I am sure on this one that far too much is being read into President Bush’s comment. And his record on other matters is, in the case of this comment about New Orleans, irrelevant.

  5. apparently it’s an innocent mistake he made three times in one speech. also, he’s used this term before in the past. i don’t think this is just a one-time mental error. he seems to truly view the gulf coast region as being in some other part of the world. and as J.I. pointed out, it’s not a way a president should be speaking about an area in a country he is responsible for leading.

    his record on other matters may not be relevant here but his record of what little his administration has done during the katrina relief effort is all one needs to point towards. matt, are you suggesting his leadership was acceptable in this matter?

  6. Nope, I am not at all insinuating that. I was not aware that he used the phrase “three times in one speech.” Was that in the article you linked to?

  7. scott, you’re right.

    what was i thinking…..actually expecting something better from a president of the united states? 🙂

    Maybe you’re right. I should stop worrying about these kinds irrelevant subjects. accountability is totally overrated. 😉

  8. maybe you guys should quit touring and go down to N.O. are help organize communities like the 9th Ward I’m sure they like some Arizona white boy down there.

  9. Before you opened my eyes to the realization that this is all just pointless….

    first, i thought it would be nice that our President would talk and act like the gulf coast region wasn’t some distant, developing region. Second, It would have been nice for him to show any real commitment and proactive leadership before the hurricane hit and since.

    third, it would have also been nice if he’d hired competent individuals as opposed to his buddies to run emergency response organizations.

    but that’s all pointless right? who cares…as long as it happens in “that part of the world” and not to us. 😉

    i would however love for you to elaborate on why residents of the 9th Ward wouldn’t welcome someone who is white to help them in restoring their area. this should be interesting. 🙂 why you would even make the distinction of what race I am is fascinating to me. maybe you don’t care much for the importance choosing your words (or the president’s) wisely……

  10. I’m not saying they wouldn’t I said “I’m sure they like some Arizona white boys down there.” Have you been to the 9th ward? I have. Get off your blog and go down to N.O. to help. I’m sure you could be used…even a benefit concert to help Desire Street Ministries might be a blessing. Mo Leveritt is good man(oh btw he’s a white boy that moved to the hood-aren’t you from white middle class america?the Burb’s?).

    go on down and help Desire Street
    or the church they’re planting St.Roch community church http://www.strochcc.org/Welcome.html

  11. for some reason, you seem to think you know anything about me or how i’ve contributed. again, a showing of words not wisely chosen.

    btw, congratulations on your contributions. i’m sure those you helped will be glad to know that it wasn’t just for the sake of help that you did it, but for the ability to mistakenly throw the self-righteousness you received from your effort into other people’s faces. bravo.

  12. zach, no doubt on bush’s boys dropping the ball. they could really take some lessons from the sbc and a multitude of other christian organizations who have or still are organizing relief. of course being a libertarian i love seeing the people outdo the government in areas of service. the government always screws up no matter who is in charge. we shouldn’t expect anything else and need to be the brothers and sisters the bible talks about anyway…

  13. This really escalated quickly.

    For the record I lived in GA for 5 years and I didn’t notice an extensive use of the phrase ‘that part of the world’ in reference to other states. They’re lazy, yes. But not so lazy that they forgo details such as cities and states.

    Also, for the people who are asking why this is such a big deal. It’s a big deal because Bush has consistently shown that he is completely withdrawn from New Orleans. He failed to cut through red tape to get aid to the city, then promised (on national television with New Orleans as a prop) he would do away with the red tape, then failed to live up to his promise. The city is still in shambles. Then on his way back from vacation he decided to add ‘Take Air Tour Of New Orleans’ to his flight itinerary, making it seem as if the city was some kind of theme park display.

    If he hadn’t had these downfalls, then yes, this is no big deal. But the fact that he really DOES seem to have a horrible history of dealing with the tragedy makes this much, much more than an argument over semantics. You at least have to admit that ‘that part of the world’ is a really cold way to speak of a location. Especially for the President of that location.

  14. This is funny. Zach, I’m glad you have been able to keep a level of whimsy with your replies…

    The pres. should have chosen his words more carefully – he, like other public should not expect everyone to understand regional colloquialisms. As a lifelong Texan, I can say that “that part of the world” is definitely a colloquialism that is used frequently (I heard it from my Mom a lot growing up) to describe a location that is different from the one you currently occupy. My mom once referred to my bedroom as “that part of the world” when we were in our kitchen…LOL!

    Though definitely a colloquialism (like “youbetcha” in Minnesota), I agree with Kyle that with respect to the situation, Bush should have picked his words more carefully.

    If anyone wants to argue more, the correct way to refer to a soft drink is “soda”, not “coke”, and definitely not “pop”. Coke is a drug, and pop is the sound a balloon makes when it bursts. 🙂

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