Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Strain of Iraq war showing on Bush, those who know him say
By Judy Keen, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The public face of President Bush at war is composed and controlled. On TV and in newspaper photos, he is sturdy and assured, usually surrounded by military personnel. But those choreographed glimpses of Bush's commander-in-chief persona don't tell the whole story. Behind the scenes, aides and friends say, the president's role is more complicated and his style more emotional.

This piece describes the undoubted pressure carried by the President, especially in a time of war. But one paragraph had me laughing out loud:

People who know Bush well say the strain of war is palpable. He rarely jokes with staffers these days and occasionally startles them with sarcastic putdowns. He's being hard on himself; he gave up sweets just before the war began. He's frustrated when armchair generals or members of his own team express doubts about U.S. military strategy. At the same time, some of his usual supporters are concerned by his insistence on sticking with the original war plan.

Uh, HELLO! Earth to Those-Who-Know-Him: Could it be the Commander in Chief gave up his sweets before the war because it is the season of Lent?? Sheesh, I don't claim to 'know' the President, yet I can reach that conclusion!

This is not to say there isn't a heavy burden on the President, to suggest so is ludicrous. But to compare the trivial curbing of sweets to that of 'pressure of the job', is to be either ignorant or reaching very, very far.

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