Either way, how the White House moved, in a matter of days, from the president's praise of a man he nicknamed "Brownie" to a rare public reassignment explains much about fears within the administration that its delayed response to the disaster could do lasting damage to both Mr. Bush's power and his legacy. But more important to some members of the administration, it dented the administration's aura of competence.
Evan Thomas, Newsweek: How Bush Blew It
President George W. Bush has always trusted his gut. He prides himself in ignoring the distracting chatter, the caterwauling of the media elites, the Washington political buzz machine. He has boasted that he doesn't read the papers. His doggedness is often admirable. It is easy for presidents to overreact to the noise around them.
Let's leave aside the fact that this is all bullshit. (The Newsweek article is well worth a read, which is why I link it, but despite the shocking peeks behind the curtain--which shouldn't be all that shocking--of an administration whose ineptitude really does match its venality, it maintains this "Bush's management style" façade in a way which suggests the author would be astonished to learn Bush's brush clearing activity misses some of the finer points of good horticultural practice.) Let's forget that until a couple weeks ago, back when Cindy Sheehan was this country's greatest crisis not involving missing blonde girls, these folks were assuring us that Bush was on a working vacation, emphasis on the working. I won't even bother to ask what power the Times thinks the only sitting duck in the White House ever to pull up lame before his second inaugural still had before Katrina, or what part of his legacy was left to be damaged. That some members of the administration believe it exudes an "aura of competence" I'm pretty sure was intended as a sick joke.
Instead, let me ask again: the steely-eyed assurance, the admirable doggedness, the gut-trusting, the uncany ability to ignore the confusion that "facts" create for ordinary people--do you want this trait in your doctor? Your mechanic, your insurance agent? Your babysitter?