This Is Why We Need Bloggers

Anyone can take the stunningly obvious and spin it into a 900-word article that tells no one anything they had not already known for months now.

It’s the week before Election Day. Do you know where your president is?

Probably not, and that is by design. With Senator John McCain lagging behind in the polls and many other Republicans fighting for their political lives, the nation’s top Republican — President Bush — is intentionally lying low this week, and is likely to do so until after Americans cast their ballots to pick his successor.
With Mr. Bush’s job approval ratings at historic lows, political analysts have long said Republican candidates simply do not want to be seen with him. But now, with the election just days away, it seems that Republican candidates do not want Mr. Bush to be seen, period.

“One of McCain’s biggest challenges has been how to deal with Bush, and he never quite got it right,” said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist who ran Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. “Now, the best thing is silence.”

So the president has temporarily dropped out of sight. Until recently, Mr. Bush was giving talks about the battered economy on nearly a daily basis, prompting some Republicans to grumble privately that so much presidential face time was hurting their election chances. This week, Mr. Bush stepped back, holding just four public events, none with real policy implications.

In case you missed it, that paragraph I bolded is the “news hook.” Yes, really.

Except it’s not. But it takes a blogger to provide the true hook:

It’s hardly a secret that George W. Bush is the least popular president in generations. It’s also pretty obvious that John McCain has developed an acute allergy to the president.

But it is kind of amusing to look back at the remarks the two men, standing side by side, made at the White House in March. McCain vowed, in a grammatically clumsy sentence, “I intend to have as much possible campaigning events together” with Bush. McCain went on to say, “I hope that the president will find time from his busy schedule to be out on the campaign trail with me,” adding that he would “look forward” to joint campaign events. “I will be glad to have the president with me, in keeping with his schedule, in any part of America,” McCain concluded.

Nearly seven months later, how’s that working out?

Thanks, Steve. Go back to sleep, Sheryl.

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