Walk of shame

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

George W. Bush will leave office on January 20, and he's already been winding down his presidency, taking whatever his equivalent of a victory lap would be.

The still-president has been giving exit interviews to all the major news networks over the past few weeks. Which lucky anchor will get the first solo date? Charles Gibson, who Bush whisked away via helicopter to the president's mountain chalet, where they sat for a romantic fireside chat.

When Gibson asked the president, "What don't the American people know about being president?," Bush responded, "I think people look at the White House and think what a miserable experience it is. There are some days when we're not so happy, some days happy. Everyday has been pretty joyous."

Wait - everyday you were in office has been joyous? Do you want to clarify that?

"I don't want people to misconstrue. I don't feel joyful when somebody loses their life, nor do I feel joyful when somebody loses a job."

That would be Cheney's department. This year for Christmas, I got him a puppy chipper.

The best part of these exit interviews is watching the news anchors try to delicately assess whether this president realizes just how bad he has screwed this thing up.

"What do you think the county's feeling is about George W. Bush? You always said there are no do-overs as president, but what if you had one? ... Was there an uh-oh moment?" asked Gibson.

An uh-oh moment! Why do we have to talk to this guy like he's four? When did foolhardy war and economic collapse become uh-oh moments?

Mr. President, I have a question. Did you make a boom-boom in the Middle East? Look at me, I am asking you a question!

But of course this is President Bush, and the buck stops somewhere else completely.

"I am the president during this period of time," Bush said, "but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street were made ... before I arrived in president."

Before I arrived in president?! I am going to miss him so much!

By the way, do we really have to build this guy a library? Can't we just get him an arcade/go-cart course? I know he would like it more.

Well, let's look for some glimmer of responsibility from the president.

"The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq," Bush said.

Yes, the CIA's intelligence failure that made you so mad and crazy. I remember what you did to the guy in charge of that intelligence. You totally tore that guy a new medal of freedom.

Hand it to Charlie Gibson, because the anchor kept panning that river for some small nugget of presidential candor.

"Wouldn't it be interesting for baby boomers not to retire in nice places, but to retire and go help people deal with malaria or AIDS? I am not suggesting that is what I'm going to do. It is the kind of thing that intrigues me," Bush said.

That's like walking up to a homeless guy and going, "Imagine if I just gave you thousands of dollars. I bet that would really change your life. It's intriguing to think about, isn't it? Alright, see you later."