The Corner

Bush’s Common Touch

Much has been made of Bush serving up Thanksgiving dinner to the troops in Baghdad, as though it was a calculated pose devised by his PR people. More likely it is the real Bush in action.

I was having dinner at Morton’s on Connecticut Avenue in Washington in early October, 2001–less than a month after 9/11–when Bush showed up with a small entourage to have his first dinner out since 9/11. (I took it as a good sign that he came to Morton’s, where one is assured of a large cut of red meat.)

The entire restaurant immediately rose to its feet and applauded, of course, and Bush waved in every direction. But instead of working the tables to shake hands with the self-appointed VIPs who habituate Morton’s, Bush went to . . . the kitchen, where he shook hands and greeted the wait staff and cooks at length. The man has a genuine common touch.

The contrast with what Clinton would have done (assuming he would even go to Morton’s) could not have been greater.

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