Bush in a Bubble?

It has long been a mainstay of Washington punditry that George W. Bush operates his presidency from within a bubble. As Newsweek magazine opined last year, “Bush may be the most isolated president in modern history, at least since the late-stage Richard Nixon.” In the months since Newsweek ran its cover story, the White House has assiduously strived to divorce itself from this perception.

It is with this backdrop in mind that I was struck by a short item from the BBC today. The Beeb’s Khartoum correspondent, Alfred Taban, had an opportunity to meet with Bush in the oval office this week as one of four individuals honored by the National Endowment of Democracy for their efforts in promoting freedom. Speaking with the BBC’s Network Africa program, Taban relates how Bush was very interested to hear about how the 2005 North-South peace agreement was holding up on the ground in Sudan. “He asked me if the peace agreement was working and I said, ‘Mr. President, it is not working,’ and he was very surprised,” Taban said.

Bush then said that this was not what he had been informed, and Taban said he told Bush: “Well, whatever information you’re getting – that peace agreement is not being implemented by the government in Khartoum.”

One if forced to wonder what other information about the government in Khartoum is not getting through to the president.

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