I had always thought it hypocritical when politicians who had been at each others’ throats the day before an election were suddenly best friends the day after the election. The ideas or plans for the direction of the state or country that were the worst possible travesties one day are suddenly the most brilliant plans ever devised. Some people watching the bipartisan vilification of John McCain after his red faced rant in 2004 all but called for his immediate execution or (at the very least) deportation, yet as soon as the dust settled and Bush was in office, everyone is huggy huggy again. Say what? I didn’t really get it (maybe I don’t now, either), but I got an inkling of it yesterday when I watched our President give his speech: a surprisingly coherent, humorous, and dignified speech at that.
Now I know next to nothing about the Speaker of the House elect, but when a reporter went down a long list of some pretty vile and disrespectful insults directed at the President and asked if these would influence how he works with the House, with her (forget her name, don’t think it really matters until both the Pres and the VP die), President Bush did something surprising: he answered with measured good sense and dignity. He said that these things occur in elections but that once that’s over, it’s time to see it for what it was (campaigning), to brush it off, and get to work.
Was his speech a political one? Uh, yes. Did he have much choice but to reach across the aisle? Er, no. Was the speech calculated to ensure he’s not a lame lame duck Pres for the next two years? Of course. But you know what? I was proud of him just the same.