Bush prepares to step into it


We can’t wait for the president’s special speech to the nation tonight on the bailout.

Jacob Weisberg, start typing. George W. Bush is going to talk to the nation tonight about the financial crisis.

Yes, John McCain earlier today began trying to cancel his own TV appearance Friday with Barack Obama. There goes some good TV, but McCain’s strategy can be appreciated on two levels: as a desperation move so Obama can’t hammer him into the ground during the current anti-GOP groundswell and as a way for McCain to scurry back to Capitol Hill for some photo-ops with the moderate Republicans in Congress who are now trying to look like critics of Wall Street. (Some of them really have been, but McCain’s never been one of them.)

But now we can tune in at 9 tonight for some great TV.

Where does Jacob Weisberg fit into this? The editor-in-chief of the Slate Group has doggedly compiled Bushisms for several years now. He’ll probably get writer’s cramp tonight when Bush aims to bail out the bailout plan.

The president wants to convince us to support his administration’s plan to hand over millions to Wall Street’s financiers — or at least to those who haven’t already made a killing by gambling that the Street would turn into a sinkhole. (See my item on short-seller John Paulson.)

Holy Cicero! Can’t wait to hear Bush explain to us just what happened on Wall Street. But it’s unlikely that Bush could top his August 5, 2004, oratorio when he was handing a check to the Pentagon for $417 billion — small change compared with the $700 billion he’s seeking tonight.

Here’s what I wrote at the time, in “Bush Gone Wild”:

Let’s hope the recent video of George W. Bush signing a massive defense bill is also saved for posterity. It may be the best piece of video this year.

You may have read about it. On August 5, in front of a gaggle of generals and defense contractors creaming their jeans over the $417 billion check that you taxpayers are so graciously picking up, Bush said:

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

Don’t misunderestimate the guy. Turns out he was right.