The Neediest President in History, Part 1:
So it was that President George W. Bush and his lovely wife Laura yesterday invited to the White House the children of military men and women deployed overseas. It was a holiday reception, with the abundance of delectable treats and lavish decorations that only the President of the greatest nation on earth could provide while at war. Or, you know, a Sultan. Or a Czar. And a show, too, with cast members from the Kennedy Center's production of Willie Wonka doing a little song and dance for the kids. Surely, yes, the parents of these children would be delighted to know that their sons and daughters could have such pleasures in times of such emotional privation.
Before Laura introduced the show, George got up and said a few words. Among those words, were these: "[D]o me a favor and email your mom or dad who is overseas how much the Commander-in-Chief respects them, admires them and supports them." Seems so small, doesn't it? In the midst of an e-mail about all the 15,000 chocolate truffles and two tons of crab claws and, miracle of miracles, a singing Willie Wonka, a child would say, "Oh, and the President told me to tell you he supports you." Which, if you've sent them to die for you, ought to be a bare minimum requirement for what you say to a soldier.
Because it ain't really about the kids, oh, no. It's about George, who so needs approval, so desperately needs to think that others know he cares, who so needs the positive attention that such small gestures might bring, that he would tell children to write about how much he likes their parents.
Lately, there's been much ink and many bytes spilled over whether or not the President is insane. Instead, let's just say that he's a sad, needy man, a figure of pity, not in a tragic way, but instead just a "will-someone-change-his-diapers" at the old age home kind of way. We'll explore that over the next few days.