Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Time for another vacation?

Bush looks really odd lately. I did not see his press conference this morning, but lately his attitude in public appearances has been diffident or petulant - not especially presidential. It's nothing we haven't seen dozens of times before, but without the old swagger and urgent bluster to pull it all together, he looks lost. The Daily Show has replayed a couple of his announcements in the past few weeks, one on Rehnquist's death, the other on Miers' nomination. In each case, Bush was given a sort of encyclopedia-style laundry list of accomplishments. Rehnquist was born in Wisconsin. He served in the army. In Italy. He was on the board of the Salvation Army. He worked for five and a half years in the Justice Department. He was a distinguished jurist, much admired by his peers. And so on. Ditto with Miers. I know that there is only so much rhetorical flash you can work into these announcements, but the image of Bush plodding his way through them is just ... depressing. Nor was he having a good time at another recent press conference, fielding questions on Cindy Sheehan in the heat at some godforsaken Texas roadside. He was clearly annoyed to be there. Then more recently there were a couple of exceedingly rare admissions of error, in which he looked like his intestines were being pulled into a squareknot while he was uttering the hated words.

This is not a man who is enjoying his work.