Much has been made of Little George's show of contrition during his press conference with Blair, his expressions of regret for the swagger of "bring 'em on" and "wanted dead or alive." Rumor suggested that Laura had weighed in on the subject. He seemed pretty convincing, I thought, watching casually, multitasking. Then I caught an exchange between Keith Olbermann and Richard Wolffe on Countdown. Wolffe, who was covering the press conference for Newsweek, told Olbermann:
"But of course, it is very rehearsed, everything from the mannerisms you saw, the upwards glance up at the ceiling for inspiration. And for me, the big giveaway was at the end of that answer -- I don't know if you could see it on camera, but the president flashed a big grin to those of us sitting in the front rows. It didn't seem that he was quite as contrite as his performance."
Ah, yes. It all made sense. Ever since his Andover days, Little George has been getting in trouble of one kind or another -- and getting away with it. I can picture him in the headmaster's office after being confronted with evidence of some misdeed, some act of juvenile bravado and bogus masculinity. I can see him convincing the head that he feels genuine regret, has learned his lesson, voice choking up -- the whole nine yards. But upon leaving the office and catching sight of his pals on the bench in the hall, waiting their turn -- he would have found it irresistible, wouldn't he? He would have flashed them that same big grin.
Character is destiny.