Bush spoke at Mount Rushmore today. I think that a president should prepare a more eloquent speech than the usual pablum when speaking before the majestic images of great predecessors. Venue matters. If it didn’t, legions of communications professionals wouldn’t be employed to place flags, placards, and warm bodies in photogenic locations for presidential speeches. And what a natural venue Mount Rushmore is! Bush used the word “challenge” 14 times in rambling remarks. It’s too bad he didn’t rise to the challenge of those former presidents. I wonder if rock can wince. I’ve added a short analysis of this speech to Presidential Campaign Rhetoric 2004.