January 5th, 2008
09:02 AM ET
6 years ago

Bush stayed up late for caucus returns

The president stayed up late to watch the caucus returns.

The president stayed up late to watch the caucus returns.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It takes something extraordinary to keep President Bush awake late into the evening, and the exciting Iowa caucuses - which resulted in upstart victories for Republican Mike Huckabee and Democrat Barack Obama - were up to the challenge.

"The President watched the returns last night, he stayed up past his usual bedtime I think to wait for the results to be announced," White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters with a smile on Friday morning. "He watched the network coverage of the results coming in. It's something obviously that he's keeping an eye on."

Bush clearly does not want to show favor to any one Republican candidate at this preliminary stage, so Fratto said the President did not place a congratulatory phone call to Huckabee. "I think it's a little bit early to be doing phone calls," he noted.

But in private, the President is expressing admiration about the spirited competition thus far. "The President said that these races are great tests," Fratto said. "You win some and you lose some. And the question is: how do you do in the long run? He thinks it's a good test for anyone who will eventually end up in this job."

"And it's exciting for Americans to pay attention to it - he is," added Fratto. "He understands the range of emotions that candidates go through, both those who don't do as well as they expected to do and those looking forward to do better."

With the Huckabee and Obama victories being widely viewed as votes for change, Fratto was asked if the results should be interpreted as a sign that Americans are expressing fatigue with the President and his administration.

"No, I think it's an election season [and] people are ready for - to get on," Fratto said of the natural transition of power.

"It's good to see change in this job and the way we do it, especially if you put it in to the context of some of the troublesome transitions of power that we see happen in other countries," added Fratto. "We sort of take it for granted the way we do it. We have very competitive, hardly-fought election campaigns and graceful, peaceful transitions of power."

–CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (317 Responses)
  1. Sue, Michigan

    Oh sam and libby,
    The reason you read so many bad things about your hero is that they are all true! I challenge you to read "The End of America" and find errors from Naomi Wolf's excellent history book. When you start to read about the quotes from Hitler and Mussolini that have made their way into Bush's speeches, you MAY see the light. then again, if you think we're stubborn, my guess if you both are as bull-headed as the Dictator (oops "decider") in the White House. If you're happy living in a fascist state with no provacy, where you can be arrested and imprisoned without representation on your hero's say-so. more power to you. I however, would like to see the Constitution upheld, as he pledged to do, and put an end to this shameful deceit.
    And I know you're coming back with "But he's keeping us safe" mantra.. Really? I don't feel safer. I would prefer that other countries respected the US. We are not an island. We need our allies. We need to treat every human being with respect, not torture. To use 9-11 in such a blatently political way is sick, but effective, for those who don't know history and don't care about anyone's welfare but their own. This world is full of people who really do need our help, but not with guns and bombs.
    The hatred on this board is due to people being fed up with the crap being spewed from the White House. Bush is a puppet of Rove and Cheney, and a sad little man who got drunk on power. I pray he really does leave office (if we don't impeach him first.) We saw in Pakistan what martial law creates...murder and mayhem from your own troops. In this case, it would be Blackwater, who is another example of a failed policy (how can men with machine guns be accountable to NO ONE-what a nice deal for them!)

    January 5, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Jed in Texas

    After further review and new INTELL. -----I must offer our President my Apology.I did not know that the situation in the Middle East was as dire as I now see it be.Some things must never be said for the protection of the American people and the greater good of our Country.I have been overly critical in my statements against involvement in that War.We cannot and should not leave that unstable tinderbox for some other Large Country to eventually try to control.At this time I am leaning toward voting for John McCain,someone whom I did not ever think I could back.I am also sorry to my fellow bloggers if I have affended you at times.Iam a strong defender of the Constitution and believe John is the best man to do the job as President and safe guard our freedom.

    January 5, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. ted

    I'm a registered independent–normally, except for 1 time, i've voted
    for the democratic nominee for president.
    I personally know 12 people who always vote for the democratic
    candidate....None of these people will vote for Barack Obama.
    Nothing to do with race...
    Right now the independents, who will vote republican in the nationals,
    will vote for Barack. They hate Hilary and probably figure Barack is easier to beat.
    The younger people don't really examine the issues or all the candidates
    solutions...
    Edwards cant deliver on his promises,
    Obama can't deliver–unless he gets a lot of democratic senators and
    representatives.

    January 5, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Honorable Kansas Vet

    So after two terms in the White House, who does George W Bush owe for his administration- bin Laden.

    January 5, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Jean truman

    THIS PRESIDENT IS NEITHER A CHRISTIAN NOR A RELIGIOUS MAN. ONCE HE REALIZED WHAT THE SO CALLED "EVANGELISTS" BRAIN WASHED AND BLIND -FOLDED MOVEMENT LIKE TO HEAR, GEORGE BUSH STARTED ADVOCATING THEIR IDIOLIGY TO PLEASE ONLY A SEGMENT OF OUR SOCIETY.
    THUS, DON'T BLAME GEORGE BUSH FOR ALL THE MISTAKES AND THE DESTRUCTIONS HE AND HIS VICE PRESIDENT CAUSED AND ARE STILL CAUSING.
    DON'T BLAME GEORGE BUSH FOR THE DEATH OF OVER 4000 YOUNG AMERICAN MILITARY MEMBERS WHO WERE SACRIFICED IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN FOR "NOTHING" OR AS GEORGE BUSH USED TO CALL IT "NOBLE CAUSE".
    GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING. GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T KNOW HOW HE GOT TO THE WHITE HOUSE. GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T KNOW WHERE HE IS. GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SPEAK THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY, BUT HE KNOWS HOW TO BE A SERVANT TO THE KING OF SAUDI ARABIA. GEORGE BUSH KNOWS HOW TO PLEASE CROOKED LOBBYIST. GEORGE BUSH KNOWS HOW TO MISLEAD THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. GEORGE BUSH PROMISES TO FIRE ALL THOSE WHO ATTEMPT TO DESTROY THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN UNDERCOVER AGENTS, BUT DOES NOTHING ONCE HIS CABINET MEMBERS ARE COUGHT RED-HANDED.
    THUS, WE ONLY CAN BLAME ALL THOSE FORCES WHO INSTALLED GEORGE BUSH, AS OUR PRESIDENT, IN THE WHITE HOURSE.
    SHOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT GEORGE BUSH AND HIS SCANDALOUS ACTIVITIES, YOU HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL KING GEORGE IS OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE.
    THEREFORE, IF YOU DON'T WANT A CLONED GEORGE BUSH TO OCCUPY THE WHITE HOUSE FOR THE COMING YEARS, EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN, EXCEPT THE EVANGELIST OF COURSE, MUST MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE WHILE VOTING COME NOVEMBER 2008.
    THIS IS, OF COURSE, THE ONLY SIDE OF THE COIN THAT WE SEE.
    AMEN.

    January 5, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. kevin from alaska

    "We sort of take it for granted the way we do it. We have very competitive, hardly-fought election campaigns and graceful, peaceful transitions of power."

    That's cause you decide them in rigged courtrooms.

    January 5, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Ed L

    The Electoral College is antiquated crap and should be scrapped.... it ensures voting power to the big states since winning the big states gives the college win DESPITE the national popular vote. It's a stupid and dangerous "tool" that should be abolished.... It might have made sense 200 years ago but it sure doesn't now. It's because of the electoral college system that we got stuck with Bush... he only had to rig Florida.....

    January 5, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. From The North

    Yes Wanda Niven, and for people like you there truly is a Santa Claus and an American President by the name of Bush that deserves praise! This is genuine sarcasm just in case your confused again Wanda.

    Thankfully for our World the number of people with a mindset like yours are not the majority. Thankfully the majority can see today's reality in a clear light and are not wearing George Bush's rose colored glasses and drinking spiked kool aid.

    Please America, for the salvation of all peace loving individuals and Nations around the world vote for a peace loving President who is experienced in international diplomacy, who has leadership capability, who is intelligent enough to make decisions on their own without Carl Rove, who has more compassion for their people and less for oil, who knows the name of three international leaders around the world, who can speak proper English, who would like to put something on the market that does not have a tag that says, "made in China, Indonesia, Bangladesh.

    January 5, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Ed L:

    I agree with you, but actually the electoral college is biased to make votes in smaller states count more than those in bigger ones. It takes far fewer actual votes in New Hampshire to get an electoral vote than in California.

    January 5, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. Steve, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    I am sure the President and the Republcans stayed up because they ll had hearturn at the record turnout for the Dems. This will be only the begiining. I look for record turnout in this election and high turn out wil benefit the Dems. his cronies can say the what they want but people want change and not the same crappola that Bush and Mitch McConnel have been telling us for 8years.Whoever the Democratic nominee is is likely to be the next president.

    January 5, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. Michelle, Pasadena,CA

    Typical Democrats....blowing smoke up their own asses and talking out both sides of their mouths. Clueless!

    January 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. mark wilkes barre pa

    becareful what you wish for ED L,,,,,, The popular vote verses the electorial vote,,,,,almost every scenerio of it has been played out over the years,,,,,,,,,,,, imagine your for one party that has noble and just reasons , causes and values that have merit and should be heard but happen to live in a part of the country that isnt as populated as others. Your opponents party lives in the most populated states and is affiliated with all the major universities in their states, are the political leaders in there states highest offices, and the heads of most social services and can organize on a moments notice with mindless followers that dont even now what there cause is but dont want an f from there teachers or to lose there handouts what chance would your party ever have to be heard ? this is why there is an electorial vote,, without the electorial vote it would be a one party rule in america ,,, may sound great to you but, then we would not be a democracy ,, are you ok with that ? I'm not,,,,

    January 5, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    "No terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11"

    What a bunch of crap. 9/11 happened on BUSH's WATCH!! And he was presented with intelligence on it before it happened, which he ignored. So he's nt som ekind of savior for protecting us, the attacks were his fault!! Knock it off.

    January 6, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  14. Bill W - PA

    "No terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11"

    What a load of crap. 9/11 happened on Bush's watch. He was even given intelligence on it before it happened. He's no savior or protector. The attacks were on his watch and were his fault.

    He also sat dumfounded in a grade school classroom reading to a child for something like 14 minutes after he was told of the attack. Some leader and protector.

    January 6, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  15. mark wilkes barre pa

    cnn ,,,my comment back to Richard west palm beach was necessary and YOU KNOW it,,, shame on you for censoring my response. did you give him a medal or just a pin for best game playing with others words ? as long as colleges can sheppard votes using the fear of failure to indoctrinate there captive audiences,, and social services can point the less fortunate at the voting precint door ,, the electorial vote is needed and all other checks and balances that go with it !!!!! And I say this fairly pointed at BOTH PARTIES,,, Richards problems with his states history in its part in bush's 2000 election is groundless ,,, his states questionable votes were counted over and over again,,, they just didnt come out the way he would of liked it to,,, sounds like sour grapes

    January 6, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  16. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "Richards problems with his states history in its part in bush's 2000 election is groundless ,,, his states questionable votes were counted over and over again,,, they just didnt come out the way he would of liked it to,,, sounds like sour grapes"
    --------------------------
    Comments about previous statements should always be based on the words actually used and not wishful thinking. NOT ONE comment was made about recounting votes OR the results of the vote in Florida. (As an aside, it is worth noting that the most complete rules for analyzing votes were supposedly those legislated in Texas and proudly bragged about by their governor, George W. Bush. When Floridians wanted to use those rules, Bush's lawyers absolutely refused.). From an historic point of view, the Palm Beach Post did an analysis that showed that the biggest problem was double-punched ballots where voters didn't understand that they couldn't change their votes. If those votes had been distributed in the same percentages as the valid votes, the results would have been different.

    Back to the actual comments. There is much to be said about electing a president where ALL AMERICANS are EQUAL. It is understandable that when our nation began, there was concern that some states could over-power others in the ballot box. Large states could decide what they wanted to do and didn't have to respond to the wishes of the smaller states. It had been over 100 years before Bush when the voters cast more ballots for a losing candidate than for the winner. In that time, we made massive progress in transportation and communication. With tremendous increases in travelling such as the development of automobiles and airplanes, we now have much greater access to our fellow Americans. With the development of radio and television we now have instant access to news. With the incredible development of the Internet, we now have the ability to instantaneously bounce facts and opinions to our fellow Americans all over our nation. Our nation has drastically changed since days when, for instance, Vermont might wonder if they would be invaded by New York. We need to review whether the electoral college is still needed.

    January 6, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  17. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    I don't ever want to miss a opportunity to say what a disaster Bush has been to the country.
    He will go down in history as the worse president ever and the only people that are more stupid are the millions who voted for him for all the wrong reasons..twice.

    January 6, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
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