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« A Flag Divided | Page One | King Tut reclaims power in Egypt !! »

Bush portrait unveiling accomplished

By John Breneman

George W. Bush popped by the White House yesterday for old time's sake -- dishing out his signature knee-slappers at the unveiling of his official portrait.

And while it was vaguely inspiring to celebrate a rare moment of bipartisanship, the triumphant return of the Smirker in Chief also left me cringing.

Because the true portrait we are left with -- despite President Obama's gracious acknowledgement that he showed "extraordinary strength and resolve" after 9/11 -- is that of a president who ignored red-flag warnings about Sept. 11, misled us into the Iraq debacle and helped fuel the economic meltdown under his watch.

And never lost his ability to joke about it.

Remember the time (March 26, 2004 at the Radio & Television Correspondents' Assoc. dinner) he slayed 'em by starring in a comedy video in which he pretended to poke around the White House looking for those phony WMDs?

What Bush found funny, I found appalling -- especially as I imagined how the parents of a soldier slain in Iraq must have reacted. But perhaps I was too harsh when I dubbed Dubya's performance: "A Comic Bomb."

And maybe I was too hard on the president when I dissected this (April 5, 2006) gut-busting standup routine and by saluting him as "Commander-in-Cheek."

After all, he was the top banana -- a self-styled master of mixing laughter with terror. Check out his innate comic timing as he warms up a crowd gathered at Kansas State University for a Jan. 2006 talk about terror and 9/11 and spying with a taste of his classic "Everybody Loves W." shtick.

In retrospect, perhaps I was too hard on the distinguished Texas Air National Guard hero in delivering my armchair diagnosis (Jan. 6, 2006) that he suffered from a particularly nasty case of "Iraq-tile dysfunction."

But hey, I did write an (albeit satiric) editorial endorsing the man (Aug. 31, 2004), opining that America needed a president "who is not afraid to take action in the face of questionable intelligence -- a man capable of making profound, far-reaching decisions undistracted by knowledge, logic and reason."

Anyway, if with yesterday's East Room monologue Mr. Bush meant to remind us that the wise-cracking 43rd president was a stone-cold chucklehead -- all I can say is mission accomplished.

Images, essays and videos from what some consider the Golden Age of Presidential Satire (2000-08)

Posted on June 1, 2012 9:33 AM | Permalink

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