[Vision2020] Bush Critic Suddenly World-Famous

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sat Apr 8 08:10:38 PDT 2006

>From today's (April 8, 2006) Spokesman Review -


Bush critic suddenly world-famous 

Jim Morrill 
Knight Ridder
April 8, 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Friday was not a normal day for Harry Taylor.

He did two national TV interviews. His phone rang all day. E-mails flooded
his inbox. People he never met called him a hero and a patriot. He became a
darling of Internet blogs, including one called simply:

"It's like I've got 10,000 butterflies jumping up and down in my stomach,"
he said in an afternoon interview. "It's been that way for 27 hours now."

A day before, President Bush called on Taylor during a question session
after a speech at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. "I have
never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened, by my leadership in
Washington, including the presidency," Taylor told Bush. "And I would hope
from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of

"I'm not your favorite guy," Bush interrupted at one point, waving off boos
directed at the Charlotte businessman and giving him a chance to speak.

Even Taylor lauded the president's gracious response. But his comments made
waves way beyond CPCC's Halton Theatre.

His public scolding was picked up by media from around the country and as
far away as South Africa. Even the official Chinese news agency reported it.
The media reaction began when a flock of reporters mobbed him right after he
left his seat Thursday.

"I felt like I had just hit the home run to win the World Series," he told
CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Friday morning. When she asked if he'd spent a lot
of time thinking about what to say if given a chance, Taylor had a ready

"Yes, about six years worth," he said.

Taylor, 61, is a slender, soft-spoken man with a mop of wavy,
salt-and-pepper hair. He runs a commercial real estate business out of a
one-room office.

A divorced New Jersey native, he has lived in Charlotte for almost 20 years.
He's president of the Charlotte Folk Society and has spent more time playing
the banjo and mandolin than in political activism.

He's an unaffiliated voter and says he hasn't belonged to a political party
for three decades. His political involvement began a few years ago through
his membership in the Sierra Club, and he has spoken out about environmental
and other issues.

It was through his membership in the Charlotte World Affairs Council that he
scored an invitation to the president's appearance. A few minutes with a
microphone brought an avalanche of response. He said he has gotten calls
from servicemen and their families, almost all positive. E-mails to the
Charlotte Observer ran 4-1 in support, though reactions were mixed on

"He wasn't a raging liberal just spewing out accusations," said Stephen
Demetriou, a commercial photographer from Maine who read about Taylor on a
blog. "There's a lot of people who share his views."

Critics, however, called Taylor rude, embarrassing and misguided.

"I thought it was very out of place," said Dean Davidson, a real estate
broker from Waxhaw, N.C. "I could hear the pacifism in his voice. To me it's
just the same old, same old you hear every day; criticism of the
administration's policies but never a new idea."


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho


"Until I started reading blogs, I thought only pilots figured they knew
everything. Now I know better." 

- Dave Glasebrook (April 4, 2006)


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