I was disappointed to see that the Diane Sawyer’s interview with President Bush on ABC received relatively little coverage or commentary. The Washington Post reported on Bush’s statements on gay “marriage” (he’s agin it but believes in tolerance), but I was sorry that Tom Shales didn’t critique the performance. (I rarely agree with Shales, but he’s a wonderful writer and would have been interesting on the interview.) The interview had been scheduled before the capture of Saddam so it was a bit of luck for both Diane and Dubya, who looked relaxed and happy and serious. He will never be an articulate man–he zeroes in on some phrase that says what he wants to say and repeats it–but he somehow generally said just the right thing last night. Did he pray for Saddam to be caught? No, he prayed for wisdom to do the right thing. Does he want Saddam to be executed? He wants him to pay “the ultimate price,” but that’s up to the Iraqi people. He was amiable but didn’t budge. My guess is that in the long run, people will feel a lot safer with Bush running things than with Dean or any other in the Democratic fold. But we don’t know what will happen between now and November.
P.S. The president said that when the word of Saddam’s capture came he was reading “the Benjamin Franklin book.” This must refer to Walter Isaacson’s tomb on the American statesman who brought radical chic to the court at Versailles. I love it that Dubya was reading this big, thick (and beautifully written) book when the news came.