This from the Washington Post
It's About Nothing -- by Dana Milbank
Dispatches from the twilight of a presidency:
7:13 a.m.: The South Lawn. President Bush, determined to dispel doubts about his relevance, grants an early-morning interview to Robin Roberts of ABC News's "Good Morning America." Joined by the first lady, he fields hard-hitting questions about . . . the White House grounds. "It's a beautiful place," the president discloses.
7:58 a.m.: By e-mail, the White House Communications Office sends out its "Morning Update." It lists two events on Bush's schedule for the entire day: a "Social Dinner in Honor of Cinco de Mayo" and, an hour later, post-dinner entertainment. To react to the main news of the day -- thousands of deaths from the cyclone in Burma -- Bush sends his wife out to make a statement. She criticizes the Burmese government for its failure "to issue a timely warning to citizens in the storm's path" and "to meet its people's basic needs." Reporters, too tactful to draw parallels to New Orleans, quiz her instead about daughter Jenna's wedding. . . .
12:39 p.m.: The White House Briefing Room. On the podium, the understudy to the understudy to the substitute to the understudy to Bush's first White House press secretary is giving a sparsely attended briefing on what he knows about Burma blocking relief efforts ("I am not aware of that report"). . . .
Eight months before the end of his second term, President Bush is forgotten but not gone. Power has shifted to Congress, attention has moved to the campaign trail, and the White House seems at times to be just going through the motions. For many reporters who remain on the White House beat, it has become a time to phone it in -- literally.
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Now, may Congress use the power it has for good--unlike what it did the other day when it gave big money to farm subsidies while, simultaneously, cutting funding for starving children around the world.