On arriving in Washington this evening, I rented a car, then drove to the home of Julie and Bill McGurn for dinner with the McGurns and our mutual friend, the ineffable Andy Ferguson. Over dinner, Bill–formerly of National Review, then of the Wall Street Journal, and now the chief speechwriter to the president–told a story about the president and the parents of a young solider who was killed in Iraq.
Moved by the eulogy the mother had written for her son, Bill got in touch with the parents, struck up a friendship with them, and, one day, invited them to join him for lunch in the White House mess. When word of this reached the president, he insisted on meeting with the parents himself. Bill, who participated in the meeting, described what took place in the Oval Office. I’m at liberty to say only that the meeting lasted four times longer than scheduled, that everyone at the table this evening felt a lump in his throat as Bill told the story–and that, if the story had ever been made public, even the press could never have taken seriously Cindy Sheehan’s claim of a hard-hearted chief executive.