Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bush's staffers and the kool-aid

The New York Times ran a mostly touching (and rare) piece about the positive parts of Bush's legacy. One quote rang true:
Then she looked directly at me and said, “But it’s all worth it, because I so believe in the president.”

It would have been easy for me to dismiss Ms. Perino as a bright and likable but ultimately Kool-Aid-stricken peddler of talking points, were it not for two things. First, my interviews with current and former Bush staffers constantly veered off into similar testimonials. Their belief in Mr. Bush transcended ideology: as much as anything else, they just loved the guy.
I also often use the kool-aid line myself, when people ask what I thought about the President (a friend of mine remarked that it was odd that I call him "the President" as opposed to Bush, or Dub-ya, habit I picked up while there I guess).

But I generally say that I didn't know him really well personally, but I respected the opinions of the people who interacted with him every day, and they all respected the guy. Of course, maybe they had "drank the Kool-Aid" but that must count.

And it wasn't just staffers, it "transcended ideology." I remember talking to a Washington Post White House correspondant (and Democrat) after a talk she gave when I was in grad school who also said she respected the President's abilities quite a bit.

Anyway, just my two cents.
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