I easily could imagine and expected there to be financial turmoil. But the extent of it, O.K., I was naïve in terms of—I knew a lot about regulation but not nearly as much as I needed to know, and I knew very little about regulatory powers and authorities. I just had not gone into it in that kind of detail.Sweet Jesus. Finally, the last lines in the story, from Matthew Dowd:
You know, the headline in his presidency will be missed opportunity. That is the headline, ultimately. It’s missed opportunity, missed opportunity.UPDATE: Just one more quote -- because it's by a sympathetic oberver of Bus and therefore more devastating. It's from Noelia Rodriguez, Laura Bush's press secretary:
I wish that more people could have seen the president the way I experienced him. Even if you don’t agree with him or respect his opinions or his decisions—strip that away, if you’re able to—he is a caring human being. I brought my mom to the White House, to get a tour the day before Thanksgiving. The president came in and greeted her—it was a total surprise. And on the spot he invited us to go to Camp David for Thanksgiving. Of course, we went, and it was Disneyland for adults. We went to chapel services before dinner. I remember we got there early. A few minutes later the president walks in with Mrs. Bush and the family, and you could see him looking around, and he sees my mom in the distance, and he literally shouts at her from across the chapel, “Grace, come sit over here with me.” And at dinner, again, he sees her, and he says, “Grace, you’re going to sit over here next to me.” And he tilted the chair against the table so that nobody would take her place.In the context of screw-up after screw-up, this is like the standard media quote from the next-door neigbor of a felon saying, "Gosh, George was always nice to me." ANOTHER UPDATE: On the other hand, if Vanity Fair had managed to cram every screw-up like this one into the essay, it might have been an even longer history.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.