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Bush: fitness equals “clear thinking”; Frank Rich: “Really”?

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President Bush took several reporters on a two-hour mountain bike ride Saturday on his 1,600-acre Texas ranch.

When he was done churning up hill and dale on his $3,100 Trek bike (a gift from the company, says St. Pete Times‘ Bill Adair), his heart monitor revealed these stats: “average rate 139, maximum 177. In two hours he burned 1,493 calories.”

Said the president, who has lost eight pounds since December on his six-days-a-week biking regimen:

I think you can do your job better if you’re fit. People think more clearly if you’re fit.

That’s good advice. But Frank Rich of The New York Times, however, doesn’t think the president thinks clearly at all. In Sunday’s Times, Rich wrote:

Only someone as adrift from reality as Mr. Bush would need to be told that a vacationing president can’t win a standoff with a grief-stricken parent commandeering TV cameras and the blogosphere 24/7. (emphasis mine)

He’s referring, of course, to Bush’s failure to meet with Iraq war protesters led by “Cindy Sheehan, a California woman whose son was killed in Iraq, and who has vowed to remain outside of Bush’s ranch until the president meets with her,” according to a USA Today story.

Rich adds to his column poll results he argues demonstrate that:

a president can’t stay the course when his own citizens (let alone his own allies) won’t stay with him. The approval rate for Mr. Bush’s handling of Iraq plunged to 34 percent in last weekend’s Newsweek poll – a match for the 32 percent that approved L.B.J.’s handling of Vietnam in early March 1968.

The president may be physically fit — less than 16 percent body fat and a resting pulse below 50 — but increasingly, his concept of clear thinking about Iraq differs from that of more and more people, including people who backed his decision to go to war.

If the president’s fitness-induced “clear thinking” produces his current policies on the war, then somebody ought to send him a dozen doughnuts and an all-you-can-eat pass to McDonald’s every day.

Hey, it worked for Bill Clinton.


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

August 15, 2005 at 11:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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