He’s been gone not even a fortnight, but Bushie’s cronies are on the warpath against Obama. Former Chief-of-Staff Andrew Card (you remember, the one who told W that the Twin Towers had been hit) said:
“…I found that Ronald Reagan and both President Bushes treated the Oval Office with tremendous respect. They treated the Office of the Presidency with tremendous respect. And some of that respect was reflected in how they expected people to behave, how they expected them to dress when they walked into the symbol of freedom for the world, the Oval Office. And yes, I’m disappointed to see the casual, laissez faire, short sleeves, no shirt and tie, no jacket, kind of locker room experience that seems to be taking place in this White House and the Oval Office.”
Fascinating that Card should link respect for the presidency merely to dress. So because Bush was always immaculately presented he was respectful of his office, and Obama is not merely because he dresses in private more informally? Steve Benen slams the comparison:
Or, put another way, where exactly does a loyal Bushie get off talking about “respecting” the presidency? Did George W. Bush always wear a coat and tie? Sure. Good for him. But while he was wearing nice clothes and demanding that his staff do the same, he also oversaw a scandal-plagued White House that trashed constitutional norms and routinely ignored the laws that the president twice swore to faithfully execute.
One respects the office by honoring its place in a constitutional system, not by wearing a suit.
I couldn’t agree more. There hasn’t been a president less respectful of his office than the thoroughly discredited George W Bush. Whatever his ultimate achievements, strengths and weaknesses, at least Obama knows where the real priorities lie.