Bush had a script, damn the questions! No matter the question, Iraq must be mentioned. Ask about FBI regulations? IRAQ! Ahh, but don't ask specifics. Like WHO we're handing sovereignty over to, a mere 10 weeks from the date. "You'll find out!"
Bush basically refused to answer why he couldn't appear in front of the 9/11 commission without Cheney holding his hand. Loved this bit:
President Bush: Let's see here, hold on. Michael?
QUESTION: Mr. President, why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9-11 commission? And, Mr. President, who will we be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30th?
President Bush: We'll find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing. He's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over.
And, secondly, because the 9-11 commission wants to ask us questions, that's why we're meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.
President Bush: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9-11 commission is looking forward to asking us. And I'm looking forward to answering them.
Let's see. Hold on for a minute. Let's see. Oh, Jim.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.
President Bush: I've got some must-calls. I'm sorry.
And believe me, that "must-call" was a soft-ball question of the first order that he still managed not to answer.
And the reporters really did give Bush multiple chances to look good with the "mistake" questions. Particularly with the "Will it have been worth it, even if you lose your job because of it?" question. If Bush had a brain, he would have replied that it would have been worth it even if he did not win a second term. Ahh, no. He replied, "I don't plan on losing my job."
Opportunity missed, imo. I had moments last night when I wondered if he even believed what he was saying. He looked like an uncomfortable school boy trying to pad his answers and watching the clock to see when he could go.
Still, the quote of the night had to be, "I wouldn't be happy if I were occupied either." Though the close runner-up would have had to be, "I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it."