Wednesday, April 02, 2003

I should have given up drinking coffee for Lent. Caffeine isn't the best thing for you when you're already tense and anxious. Neither is reading this:

Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time, says Commerce Secretary Don Evans, a close friend who talks with Bush every day. His history degree from Yale makes him mindful of the importance of the moment. He knows he's making "history-changing decisions," Evans says. But Bush doesn't keep a diary or other personal record of the events that will form his legacy. Aides take notes, but there's no stenographer in most meetings, nor are they videotaped or recorded.

Oh, where to begin? There's just so much evidence of what this man is lacking . The sheer arrogance of believing that one is chosen by God, the lack of reflection over his actions, the fact that he has other people writing down his thoughts. Let's forget about the fact that he is our president (yes please let's forget all about that) and that he's waging a war (oh if only). Look at this man. If anybody ever told me they were chosen by God to do anything, I'd keep my head down and keep on walking, not push for nomination. That's the worst thing about this. It's not enough that they've captured Washington but they've done it with this guy.

It gets worse.

Bush copes with anxiety as he always has. He prays and exercises. Evans says his friend has a placid acceptance of challenges that comes from his Christian faith.

This doesn't quite jive with the picture of anxiety at the beginning of the story.

"He knows that we're all here to serve a calling greater than self," Evans says. "That's what he's committed his life to do. He understands that he is the one person in the country, in this case really the one person in the world, who has a responsibility to protect and defend freedom."]


Bush has imposed an almost military discipline on himself. Even though he's as lean as he was in college, he decided just before the war that he was unhappy with his running times, which were slowing from his preferred pace of 7.5 minutes or less per mile.

So Bush gave up his one indulgence: sweets. It worked; he's losing weight and improving his time.

Aha! There's some of that personal sacrifice.

When Bush doesn't find time to run three or four miles a day, he still works out. He uses an elliptical trainer, lifts weights and stretches. Exercising regularly, he says, gives him time to think, improves his energy and helps him sleep.

He also carves out time for family and friends. He still goes to bed by 10 p.m. and has asked his wife, Laura, to stay close to home. His daughter Barbara and his college friend Roland Betts, a New York business executive, also were with him at Camp David the first weekend of the war. He talks several times a week with his father and mother. He still tells a joke or teases an aide occasionally.

The president's friends and family fret about him, but advisers say the pressure doesn't seem to be getting to him. "He's not one of those people

Very little of the selfless here. In fact the one thing Bush seems to be quite good at is putting himself first. The fussing over him is such bullshit. They sound like overanxious parents who've just admitted to Georgie that there's no such thing as the Tooth Fairy.

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