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2/22/02


 

10 HOURS IN FEBRUARY

By Dan Balz and Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, February 22, 2002; Page A01

During the course of just one calendar day earlier this month, President George W. Bush saved the world from nuclear extinction, discovered a cure for all life threatening disease (without harming any fetal tissue), and averted the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. Typically, after completing this amazing trifecta, the well grounded chief executive still had time to turn fish into loaves and establish a new point record while playing the video game Lara Croft: Tomb Raider that may never be approached, much less equaled.

The reporters of this story were provided with unconditional and unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Bush administration, with the sole proviso being that we would mindlessly swallow whatever implausible bullshit the president’s aides fed to us.

It all started early on Sunday, February 10. The president began this fateful day by rising at four o’clock in the morning to memorize the Federal Registry. Haggard aides, who reluctantly admitted to being exhausted by the grueling schedule of the boss they secretly refer to as “The Brain”, conceded that Bush’s encyclopedic knowledge is intimidating.

“It’s like working for Albert Einstein”, said one dazzled advisor, “if Einstein had been really, really smart.”

Before sunrise, Bush was interrupted by an urgent call from the Pentagon. Nuclear war threatened to break out between India and Pakistan.

A lesser president might not have been equipped for the task of saving the world from obliteration, or perhaps would have been too busy to even try, as a result of being preoccupied with doing dreadful things to an intern young enough to be his daughter.

Over the course of a lifetime, George W. Bush had relentlessly trained his mind and soul for a moment just like this. Prepared by his many rigorous years of intense academic reflection on the region’s socioeconomic, religious, and geopolitical factors, the president displayed his profound understanding of the nuances of the sub-Asian continent. His sophisticated approach having been honed by countless hours spent studying the Kama Sutra, Bush quickly defused the tense situation. Like a grandmaster at chess, he deftly employed subtle psychological techniques to maneuver the belligerent combatants into aligning with each other and forgoing further conflict.

“Our commander in chief was the ultimate statesman,” said a beaming senior staff member. “Within an hour, he brought the two sides together. The prime ministers of both countries were on their knees, literally crying and begging him to stop reciting “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

By mid morning, the president was conscientiously maintaining his peak physical fitness by running on the treadmill in the White House gym. Top aides revealed that, while exercising, Bush enjoys computing complex abstract mathematical calculations in his head. On this day, by focusing on the properties of linear regression within the context of quantum physics, he was able to devise a formula that guarantees human immortality. With characteristic enthusiasm, the president excitedly informed leaders of Congress, only to be frustrated by Washington gridlock and the politics of personal destruction.

“It was Tom Daschle,” confided an aide. “He was obstructionist. If not for the Daschle Democrats, we would all now be able to live forever in perfect health. Please don’t write this, or the voters might punish our political opponents at election time.”

Though disappointed by the Democratic Party’s obsessive lust to inflict death on the American people, Bush again demonstrated his admirable resiliency. In the early afternoon, the president’s keen political antennae alerted him to the fact that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan intended to raise the discount rate to 23%. Twenty three is a sacred number to Greenspan, because it is the I.Q. of his wife, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell.

Realizing that dramatically raising interest rates would eliminate corporate borrowing, destroy the economy, and make the pie lower, America’s vigilant chief executive sprung into action. Using the brawny strength he acquired while single-handedly leading massive cattle drives through the badlands of West Texas, Bush hurled the startled Fed Chairman to the ground and skillfully applied a titty twister until the chastened Greenspan relented.

The economy was saved. Untold tens of millions of citizens were spared from financial ruin. Yet, such is the humility of America’s guiding light that no one would have ever known about his act of heroism if the Post were not breaking the story now.

Well placed sources throughout the administration stated, on and off the record, that they believe it is a great thing that Mr. Bush is in the White House. Not a single Bush aide, regardless of age or ethnic background, expressed any indication that he or she wishes Al Gore were president. Seasoned political observers can only interpret this diverse unanimity of opinion as being a bellwether of the country at large.

The performance of George W. Bush has been at once awe inspiring and comforting in a deeply spiritual way. His mastery is such that the concept of objective journalism now seems to be quaint and obsolete.

As one venerable Washington journalist summarized it, “Earning big bucks and social acceptance inside the Beltway for obsequiously extolling the virtues of an establishment favorite sure beats the hell out of fearing for your life while meeting a whistleblower in some goddamned underground parking garage.”

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