How Emotionally Insecure Is Bush?

George Bush didn’t look comfortable at his press conference today. He kept getting a nervous smile, he kept making awkward jokes. Like, he told the ballsy David Gregory of NBC that he wouldn’t offer him a job at the White House, “you wouldn’t pass the background check!” Then when he realized it was inappropriate—no one laughed—Bush said “That was a cheap shot” and promptly withdrew the crack. Right after that he threw his arms in the air as he joked about a reporter’s “brilliant” question. More nervousness.

The reporters at the press conference seemed nervous themselves. Like they were pulling punches, afraid to make him seem even more foolish. Last night with Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News, Bush was also awkward. Looking away, never firm, his voice a little quavery and squeaky. Williams was over-polite, as if afraid the guy might crack right there.

The President seems to be losing the one good quality he once had, emotional comfort, manliness. The understanding so many others have had, that he’s in over his head, has dawned at last on him. He’s like a pitcher who’s got the bases loaded and has lost the plate, also his fastball, his curveball and his offspeed pitch. Who’s going to pull him? Just remember, when you do—pull Cheney too.