Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This may seem an inopportune moment

to ask, Dean Wormer...but do you think you could give us one more chance?

-- ROBERT HOOVER, President of Delta House (Animal House, 1978)

Another president who screwed up asks for one more chance.

And looked like he didn't even believe himself.

For the attention-span impaired, Keith Olbermann runs down the Commander-in-Chief's greatest chances.

President Bush is a man with a deeply held belief in do-overs -- for himself. See this Vanity Fair article from October 2000 (my highlights):
Even if he loses, his friends say, he doesn't lose. He'll just change the score, or change the rules, or make his opponent play until he can beat him. "If you were playing basketball and you were playing to 11 and he was down, you went to 15," says Hannah, now a Dallas insurance executive.


Another fast friend, Roland Betts, acknowledges that it is the same in tennis. In November 1992, Bush and Betts were in Santa Fe to host a dinner party, but they had just enough time for one set of doubles. The former Yale classmates were on opposite sides of the net. "There was only one problem—my side won the first set," recalls Betts. "O.K., then we're going two out of three," Bush decreed. Bush's side takes the next set. But Betts's side is winning the third set when it starts to snow. Hard, fat flakes. The catering truck pulls up. But Bush won't let anybody quit. "He's pissed. George runs his mouth constantly," says Betts indulgently. "He's making fun of your last shot, mocking you, needling you, goading you—he never shuts up!" They continued to play tennis through a driving snowstorm.

It is something of an in-joke with Bush's friends and family. "In reality we all know who won, but George wants to go further to see what happens," says an old family friend, venture capitalist and former MGM chairman Louis "Bo" Polk Jr. "George would say, ‘Play that one over,' or ‘I wasn't quite ready.' ...
Next, he'll be challenging a weary America to spend even more blood and treasure on a best "two out of three" (Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran) when he hasn't even won one yet.

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