Last night was the 123rd Annual Gridiron Club spring dinner, one of those inside-the-beltway events where the political media gets all cozy with the figures they cover during the year and agree to have their fangs largely buffed down to the gums. No one really cares about the Gridiron anymore because all the star-boffing happens at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and even that was a mountain of lame last year. Anyway, at that setting, George W. Bush apparently was a big hit, probably because he didn't try to walk through any locked doors or attempt to tap dance. Here, Politico went to it, and they say Bush managed to bring the whole affair to "a rousing close Saturday by donning a tan cowboy hat above his white-tie and tails singing, onstage, a self-parody of a Texas-flavored country-and-western song."
Considering one of the messages we received on Twitter from people who willingly gave up huge swaths of their lives to be in attendance read: "Average age of crowd: dead," we're going to recommend you judge "rousing" on a sliding scale. But, hey, judge for yourself, would you be into some of this?
"You have just witnessed the first and final performance of Bush and the Busharoos," the president said, after rendering a final encore of the "Brown, Brown Grass of Home," the venerable waltz tune, in a voice that did minimal musical justice to Tom Jones' popular version...
Bush has attended six of the eight Gridiron dinners since assuming the presidency in 2001. He used his final appearance to allude to his permanent return to his Crawford, Texas, ranch, along with his dog, come this time next year.
"Little Crawford looked the same, as I stepped down from that plane," Bush warbled. "And here came Barney, breath sweet as honey. ..."
In another stanza, Bush sang, "I spend my days clearing brush. I clear my head of all the fuss you made of Harriet and Brownie." He was referring, of course, to Harriet Miers, his former counsel and abortive Supreme Court nominee, and Michael Brown, who resigned, post-Katrina, as the nation's federal preparedness chief 10 days after Bush said, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."
Trust me, if that's your idea of a good time, you've no idea how bad you've had it.
Still, Bush ended his time on stage with this sentiment: "Let me give you a simple truth that I believe wholeheartedly -- you can't have a true democracy without a free press." Here's hoping his Presidency ends with a similarly hilarious crescendo.