I was in the East Room yesterday, listening to President Obama speak at the unveiling of the official George W. Bush portrait, and that’s when it happened: My head exploded.
I felt terrible. I mean, it hurt, yes, but mostly I was just mortified. The General Services Administration had to come in and clean everything up. I’m pretty sure some of it got on the famous Washington portrait that Dolly Madison smuggled out of the White House as British soldiers approached to burn the place down.
The painting escaped British cannon balls, but not my exploding head.
But, I mean, what did the White House expect? I had just heard Obama try to say that he had shared credit for the killing of Bin Laden with Bush.
Bush was in the audience along with Laura, whose portrait also was presented. I looked at them as Obama said this. They are clearly stronger people than I. Neither of their heads exploded. I have to give them a lot of credit.
Here’s what Obama said:
And last year, when we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, I made it clear that our success was due to many people in many organizations working together over many years — across two administrations. That’s why my first call once American forces were safely out of harm’s way was to President Bush. Because protecting our country is neither the work of one person, nor the task of one period of time, it’s an ongoing obligation that we all share.
If Obama or any of his people have ever said that George W. Bush shared credit for killing Bin Laden, I missed it. He doesn’t even quite do it here, but he certainly strongly suggests it.
What I am keenly aware of, as I know you are too, is that Obama and his surrogates have shamelessly promoted his own role in the operation, with the phrase “gutsy call” now forever enshrined – for many, with a sense of irony – as the emblem of Obama’s decision to go ahead and kill America’s Public Enemy No. 1.
Gutsy is the word that should be applied to the brave servicemen who conducted the operation. An operation based on intelligence developed under Bush and executed by a military built by Bush.
And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to try to get my head together.