Remote controlled Bush?
The Register has an interesting article on the Was Bush being told what to say during the presidential TV debates? issue:
Unless he's reading a well-rehearsed speech, the President is normally much given to malapropisms and incoherent syntax. When confronted with questions for which he is not prepared, he typically muddles along unintelligibly when starting a reply, until he finds a path to one of his prepared talking points, as he repeatedly did during his televised prime-time press conference of 13 April 2004. It is not unusual for him to take refuge in his prepared points, regardless of what question is asked, and his answers are often irrelevant as well as confused. That is, he tends to stay "on message," rather than "on topic".
Yet, during both presidential debates, he miraculously spoke in clear, organized sentences that were fairly relevant to the questions asked. He stumbled only occasionally, and then only briefly. The public has declared Kerry the winner of both debates - the first by a wide margin, and the second by a narrow one - but it is undeniable that the President far exceeded his baseline performance when confronting the unexpected. Or, said another way, he may have looked bad in comparison to Kerry, but he looked very good in comparison to himself.
I would -not- be surprised.
More on the Bush bulge issue: