09/02/2005 03:00 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Numbers Game

Quick juxtaposition:

On Page A1 of yesterday's New York Times:
A Hard New Test for the President: Opportunity and Risk in a Major Disaster

...Mr. Bush's instinctive response to such moments, his longtime aides and friends say, is to set up measurements to determine whether his efforts are adequately addressing a problem. "He likes being a hands-on manager," said Mr. Allbaugh. "He wants numbers, he wants to be able to show that the ball is moving down the field."

Meanwhile, on Page A4:
Bolton Makes His Case at U.N. for a New Focus for Aid Projects

....[Bolton] said what the United States objected to was the way the United Nations secretariat later codified those goals into numerical targets and timetables, like the pledge that countries devote seven-tenths of 1 percent of gross national product to development assistance.