Friday, July 22, 2005


Breaking News: The Emperor Has Got No Clothes On

Jonathan Chait writes in the Los Angeles Times:

A week ago, when President Bush met with Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III to interview him for a potential Supreme Court nomination, the conversation turned to exercise. When asked by the president of the United States how often he exercised, Wilkinson impressively responded that he runs 3 1/2 miles a day. Bush urged him to adopt more cross-training. "He warned me of impending doom," Wilkinson told the New York Times. Am I the only person who finds this disturbing? I don't mean the fact that Bush would vet his selection for the highest court in the land in part on something utterly trivial. That's expected. What I mean is the fact that Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy. ... Bush can bench press 185 pounds five times, and, before a recent knee injury, he ran three miles at a 6-minute, 45-second pace. That's better than I could manage when I played two sports in high school. And I wasn't holding the most powerful office on Earth. Which is sort of my point: Does the leader of the free world need to attain that level of physical achievement?
This obsessive and narcissistic behavior has been obvious since Bush took the White House. What's remarkable about this piece is that somebody in the mainstream media has noticed "that boy just ain't right," as we say back home — and is calling attention to it. (Longer-lasting link courtesy of The Smirking Chimp)
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