Apparently Blake Gottesman, George Bush's "body man," is giving up his job
as Waylon Smithers to attend Harvard's School of Business, even though he has no undergraduate degree.
I can't decide what's most unbelievable about this story. Let's start with the lede:
It's been a great week for President Bush, but there's been at least one dark cloud: One of his closest aides is leaving the White House this week.
And I thought they were going to say the dark cloud was that the 2,500th U.S. troop was killed
in Iraq. But that Blake Gottesman resignation thing is bad, too.
By the way, to bolster its claim that it has been a great week for Bush, ABC news offers a link to this story
, about what a great week it has been for Bush.
Again, the gushing starts in sentence one:
It's been the kind of week that President Bush and the beleaguered White House have only dreamed about.
A spate of polls now shows a slight rise in public confidence in the war in Iraq after Bush conducted a high-powered summit at Camp David on the Iraq war, made a surprise trip to Baghdad to meet with troops and newly elected Iraqi government leaders, and then returned home to a triumphant Rose Garden news conference.
In addition, Bush's top adviser, Karl Rove, learned he would not face charges related to the 2003 leak of the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.
This may have been the president's best week ever.
Finally, ABC gets around to pointing out that Bush's approval rating is still in the thrities, which means that more than 6 of every 10 Americans disapprove of the job he's doing, but marginalizes that majority by saying "Some critics say the White House may not have real cause for celebration." And even though a "spate" of polls now shows a slight rise in public confidence in the war in Iraq," the story fails to cite one or point out that "fifty-four percent
said they still believe the war is going either very badly or moderately badly, down from 60 percent in March. And 55 percent said they believe the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an error -- a figure unchanged from an April survey." Or that 61 percent
of U.S. adults said they disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation with Iraq.
The story goes on to point out that "there are now some building blocks in place for permanent improvement." Something tells me that if the administration hadn't already abandoned the phrase "turned the corner," ABC would have used it right about there.
If the week when the United States reached the grim milestone of the 2,500th troop death in Iraq "may have been the president's best week ever," it goes to show just how low the bar has been set for success in this administration.
The bottom line is that the White House pulled out all the stops this week, with a high-profile "Iraq summit" at Camp David and then Bush's five-hour layover in Baghdad's Green Zone. You better believe they want some mileage for that effort, and that mileage is these ABC stories and the entire "great week" storyline.
But getting back to Body Man Blake, ABC's story on that situation continues:
Blake Gottesman is leaving to attend Bush's alma mater, Harvard School of Business. Gottesman has no undergraduate degree, but in rare cases, the school makes exceptions.
Hmm, I wonder who hooked him up with that gig?
Like "The West Wing" presidential aide Charlie Young — played by Dule Hill — Gottesman is rarely more than a few feet from the president. Even in Baghdad earlier this week he was there in uniform.
I guess everyone in the White House gets to play military dress-up eventually. It was just this week that we were treated to this image
of new WH press secretary Tony Snow and Bush counsel Dan Bartlett dressed like men with spines, though I don't think they're enjoying dress-up as much as George Bush did that time on the aircraft carrier.
It's not a job for those with weak backs.
"I think that bag weighs 80 pounds or so," Rove said. "I think if you were special forces, with 80 pounds of equipment and weapons, you might get in the Blake Gottesman mode."
It's not like a quote like that bolsters arguments that our troops were sent into battle by a bunch of draft-dodging pussy chickenhawks who have no idea what battle is like or anything.
And Rove is the guy Bush is lucky to have around.
How much does that water weigh, ABC?