Presidential press conferences are traditionally a way for a chief executive to put his best foot forward and remind us who's in charge.
To hold it in the White House Rose Garden rather than the press room or Old Executive Office Building is to invoke the grandeur of the office and stand apart from the petty give-and- take of politics.
But when Bush went to the Rose Garden yesterday, the event failed as theater and served as an unintended display of a presidency adrift. His usual repartee with reporters about their inflated salaries and spiffy dress failed to elicit more than polite titters. It was the serious stuff that was laughable.
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