Dear Aunt Sophie,
Have you ever noticed how much Bush exercises, or am I the only one? Please tell me it bothers you, too.
Whenever something happens that affects him he’s always exercising. Earlier this year, when an airplane blundered into restricted Washington air space, Bush was bicycling. In 2001 when a gunman fired shots at the White House Bush was inside - exercising. When planes struck the World Trade Center in 2001, we all know he was reading to schoolchildren, but did you know that that morning he had gone for a long run with a reporter?
But nobody else seems to care. I find it disturbing. Creepy, in fact.
So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a column speculating about Bush’s obsession with physical exercise and the fact that he seems to expect the people close to him to share his obsession. I wanted to find out if other people were disturbed. But when my column came out some people thought it was funny!
I was not trying for humor when I said I think the President of the United States exercises too much. I was making the point that the man who holds the most important job in the world ought to spend more time attending to the job and less time working out. There’s nothing unreasonable about that. What are we paying him for, anyway?
So he’s fit. Big deal. When I was in high school I was almost as fit as he is. But I have to work for a living and I don’t have time to exercise that much. Besides, I wouldn’t if I did have the time, because frankly, it’s a bore and I can’t stand the smugness of the people in the better gyms. They think the rest of us are slugs.
But when you’re interviewing people to nominate for the Supreme Court you shouldn’t ask them about their exercise habits as if they were going to have to run laps around the court house every morning before they put on their robes. I doubt that any of them could run once around the inside of the chamber let alone around the outside, so where does he get off even raising the subject?
It must be that he equates exercise with discipline. That would be quite natural for a reformed sot, I suppose. You grasp his logic (if you can call it that), don’t you? – it takes discipline to give up the sauce and it takes discipline to run and lift weights everyday. Some people even say it’s good for the mind, but just look around you at all the perfectly toned airheads on TV and tell me you think it has anything to do with the mind. Truth is, it’s deadening and I wouldn’t say it’s improved Bush’s intellect, judging by the fact that he still can’t pronounce “nuclear”.
Do you think the Leader of the Free World should spend his time pumping iron in an air-conditioned gym while racial profiling is being discussed as a deterrent to terrorism, most people have no medical care and children are starving? Be honest, Auntie. I know you care about the country.
Jonathan from LA
It’s encouraging to think that a guy who writes opinion pieces in La-La Land’s largest newspaper was once a fit teen-ager. Maybe if you’d kept up the exercise you’d be able to write a serious column that didn’t read like satire.
Whether or not the President exercises doesn’t faze me one way or the other, but have you ever noticed how often he eats?
I suppose we should be thankful that he doesn’t keep a bowl of jelly beans on his desk in the Oval Office, but don’t you find it troubling that on the morning of September 11, 2001 Mr. Bush had eaten his usual breakfast? I mean if the man isn’t obsessed with eating then I don’t know who is.
And when does he find so much time to eat? He strikes me as an especially neat eater who wouldn’t relish crumbs in the Oval Office. Therefore, I’d lay odds that he doesn’t scarf down chicken wings at his desk while discussing the abysmal failure of his Iraq policy with Condoleezza Rice. Instead, it’s likely that he takes time from the people’s business several times a day to sit at a table expressly for the purpose of eating.
Maybe W. associates eating with nutrition. From there it’s just a small step to linking nutrition to mental acuity, but one need only consider the millions of stupid people who eat every day to understand that the connection is tenuous at best.
My guess is that Mr. Bush became somewhat of diet fanatic during the Clinton administration when the former president’s thighs became fodder for late-night television. My sources tell me that when the former president underwent a coronary by-pass earlier this year Mr. Bush was seen nodding sagely at the news, as if to say that he was not at all surprised. Perhaps he had advance intelligence concerning the operation. Maybe Karl Rove leaked the information. Maybe Bush should appoint a special prosecutor.
Your piece really hit the nail on the head, Jonathan. A few more like that and your paper’s circulation could soar into minus territory. Go for it.
Good luck and God bless.