On the Bush 2000 campaign trail, Alexandra Pelosi shot hours of priceless footage inside the press corps plane that shuttled power-struck scribes from one meticulously orchestrated event to another. Besides offering alternately hilarious and chilling visions of Dubya, Pelosi’s film illuminates how the candidate manufactures the consent of up-and-coming political correspondents, and how they, in turn, manufacture ours.
Spanning from Bush’s announcement of his candidacy to the Supreme Court ruling that granted him victory, Journeys With George captures the Bush charm offensive in full effect. Even Pelosi — the daughter of House Whip Nancy Pelosi — is not immune, letting George name her film (though she resists his suggestion to spell Journeys with a G).
The other reporters may crack caustic jokes about Bush’s snowmobile-riding photo ops — in private — but when the candidate shifts to an even mildly serious discussion, their faces are stern and their tape recorders are rolling. And no wonder: Their future jobs in the White House press corps hinge on his success. As Bush informs the filmmaker, “If I lose, you’re out of work, baby. You’re off the plane, baby.”