President Loves Lamp

by Ana Marie Cox

Surely I can't be the only person who notices that when George Bush is trying to make a point, HE STARTS TO KIND OF SHOUT. AND PUNCUATE. THE WORDS. WITH PAUSES. He'll start off basically normal  then, when he gets to a talking point he'll go all Steve Carrel in Ron Burgandy: "LOUD NOISES!" It's as though he thinks that the reason the press corps doesn't agree with his relatively rosy take on Iraq is because they can't hear him.

This morning's press conference was notable for both the President's volume and a certain schizophrenia -- Bush rarely tries as hard to get a laugh as he did this morning, even, in desperation, making jokes about dancing with Helen Thomas. (ew.) I'm surprised the DNC hasn't already made an ad out of his shocking concession that Democrats who oppose his policies are just as patriotic as he is. And then, just to keep things interesting, he started channeling Lou Reed: "Sometimes I’m frustrated. I’m rarely surprised. Sometimes I’m happy. The war is not a time of joy. These aren’t joyous times. These are challenging times. These are difficult times." I believe the next verse is "I thought of you as my mountaintop/I thought of you was my peak/I thought of you as everything/I had but couldn't keep."

The White House has yet to post a transcript, so I'm going to hold off on further analysis but those interested in WH trivia might be curious to know that the the lighthearted joshing at the end of the conference was in reference to the relocation of the briefing room out of the White House proper. Reporters  asked the President when they'd be allowed back; he said he didn't know and Cox's Ken Herman said he believed that decision would be made by "commanders on the ground." I didn't catch who said "there is no timetable for withdrawal."