Sunday, September 02, 2007

Wherein is revealed the worst thing than can happen to a presidency

Maliki is feeling under-appreciated. He thinks his regime hasn’t been given enough credit for all its accomplishments, “such as stopping the civil and sectarian war.” And criticism by American politicians “signals to terrorists luring them into thinking that the security situation in the country is not good.”

Some days there just isn’t enough sarcasm.

Bush has been chatting for months with a biographer, Robert Draper. His goal in Iraq is now “To get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence” so that the US can “stay longer.” See, and you were worried that he doesn’t have a goal in Iraq.

“Self-pity,” Bush says, “is the worst thing that can happen to a presidency.” Actually, pretty much on a daily basis Bush has created new and hideous examples of the worst things that can happen to a presidency.

Speaking of self-pity: “I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot.”

Bush’s memory is practically Gonzalezesque. He doesn’t remember asking his advisers to vote on whether to fire Rumsfeld in April 2006. He says that it was not his policy to abolish the Iraqi army; asked how he responded when Bremer did abolish the Iraqi army, he says, “Yeah, I can’t remember”, but that Stephen “Boo” Hadley has “got notes on all of this stuff.”

Must-read: NYT on the Bush administration and consumer safety.

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