Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Bush Pedaled while Cindy's Spurned: Extreme sports with President "Bike Guy"

The Story of Cindy's vigil is one of contrasts. The longer she waits, worse the outrageous antics of the other side looks in comparison with her quiet dignity

This Morning's outrage came with an extra-large side of Irony. You simply can't make up something like a man plowing his pick-up through a field of crosses and American flags to show his Patriotism and support for our good Christian president. (and anyone want to bet on whether the truck that demolished a War memorial had a "support our Troops" ribbon on it?)

Truck boy though is a red herring. For sheer stupidity, effrontery and callousness, nothing can match what W did on Sunday. The man too busy with fundraisin', and world-runnin', and all sorts of important president stuff to meet with Cindy, Held a bike ride- complete with commemorative socks

However, on his bike and away from his handlers President Pee-Wee let his guard down and let his true character come out, and its not pretty. Lets put on a full-body condom and dive into that psyche shall we?

The money quote of the afternoon, W's Depak Choopra-esque soliloquy on balance in his life has been covered extensively already. But there was so much more revealed during this little jaunt.
Let's start at the beginning of the ride when
W, laid down the Rules, to the reporters (and yes, he was serious in that way that people who later claim to be "only kidding" always are:)

Standing on the driveway outside his home, President
Bush explains the rules for people who go mountain biking with him.
It will
be a vigorous workout. It is not a race. And no one, the president says with a
smile, is allowed to pass him.

Is our Commander-in- Chief really that much of a competitive asshole frat boy? Don't those rules remind you of the insecure jackass boss who will fire you if you beat them at a game but constantly gloat if you let them win?
How pathetically insecure is our president that he seeks validation by beating people who are forced to be nice to him? He's the freaking most powerful Man in the world {well after Karl and Dick} and he still needs people he can belittle to stroke his ego?!!

And make no mistake; the president was trying very hard to show off during the ride.

Let's hear USA Today's Sal Rubial's take on the ride:

Over the course of a two-hour Tour de Crawford, Bush
humbled every rider in Peloton One with a strong and steady pace over scorching
hot paved roads, muddy creek crossings, energy-sapping tall grass and steep
climbs on loose and crumbling rock....I started out riding next to him at the
beginning of the ride, but when we left the dirt trails and hit the rolling
asphalt the pace accelerated to more than 20 mph, which is pretty good for road
bikes but absolutely blazing for heavier, knobby-tired mountain bikes. And did I
mention that the only factor mitigating the mid-80s temperatures was a very
strong headwind?

and this is where things get really Freudian:
(Bill Adair again)

"I like speed," he says. He has gotten to 32 mph on a hill at Camp David,
lightning-fast when you're riding knobby tires on a paved road.

It brings out the child in you," he says. "I think it's okay for a 59-year-old guy to still seek that youth, chase that fountain of youth. And I hope to be mountain biking for a long time."

Lovely. Our president is an adrenaline junky with a Peter Pan complex. Good thing he doesn't have access to nuclear weapons or anything. Going down hill at 35 mph on a bike is also called "recklessly hurtling down a hill out of control" . Which, come to think of it, is kinda an apt metaphor for America recently, wonder if there's a connection?.

And Sportswriter Sal Rubial's assessment of W's biking style is an equally apt analysis of his for his foreign policy:

The president does prefer the speed zones to the
technically difficult traverses

Invasions, blowing shit up, destroying 3rd rate armies weakened by a decade of sanctions? Love that. Sticking around, rebuilding the nation, ensuring a stable peaceful society in the interim? Not so much.

Well Lets give credit where credit due. Bush is actually a very good bike rider:

Keeping up with Bush -- was as difficult as any race
I've entered.

And this is significant because Sal is not USA Today's WH guy, (no, of course not, why oh why would you send a real journalist to private event with the president? the rest of the crew included "seven journalists, a woman from the State Department and her husband - a D.C. bike messenger Bush calls "Mailman" - and two Secret Service agents.)

Ya see, according to his bio:

Sal Ruibal is a 51-year-old sportswriter for USA TODAY who has covered the Tour de France six times and ridden most of the Tour's mountain passes.

He is an
experienced mountain bike racer who finished fifth in the Masters category at the 2002 World Championships of 24-Hour Solo Mountain Biking.

So no slouch on the pedals himself, he had to work to keep up with W, who was having an "alpha male" moment.

Of course, its not an entirely fair competition since unlike the sportswriter, who presumably has a day job, the president certainly has had plenty of time to train:

( From the St. Petersburg Times again)
He tries to work out
six days
a week,
if not on the mountain bike, then on a bike Lance Armstrong gave him
that hooks to a stationary trainer. Bush takes it on long flights aboard Air
Force One.

And W himself described how he snatches tiny fragments of relaxation from his intense Presidential schedule:
(Sal again)

"I love the outdoors," he says, straddling his $3,000
Trek Fuel mountain bike.
"If I'm not exercising here, I'll be fishing over
there. If I'm not fishing, I'll be working with the chainsaw.

{ for those of you playing the home game "being President" and "comforting a
grieving Mother, were a very close 6th and 7th on his last, but were discarded
for lack of time

I really enjoy being outside, and mountain biking is a way for me to spend a fair amount of time -- four or five days a week -- outdoors.

{ NB he's not talking about while he's on vacation, he talking about what passes for his regular schedule}

Now, see, that's the advantage of taking a nice low stress job with no important decisions to make like being the PRESIDENT OF THE FREAKING UNITED STATES!, you have plenty of time to exercise.

But of course W Makes no apologies for his badly skewed priorities (shocker)

He has taken heat for his devotion to his bike. Twice, in the middle of the
day, he was exercising when a crisis erupted: in 2001, a man wielding a gun was
shot outside the White House, and in May, a plane strayed into restricted
airspace above Washington. As the White House and Capitol were evacuated, Bush
was riding his bike, as a Washington Post columnist put it, "blissfully
unaware." { yeah I may have mentioned something about that too}

Bush is well aware of the perception and makes no apology.

"I think you can do your job better if you're fit. People think more
clearly if you're fit."

Oh, I get it! your utterly narcissistic fitness obsession is Job Related you need to work out so you can be a better president! { when's that expected to kick in anyway?}
Which is a lovely theory, except: Bill Clinton was, how can I put this gently?, -a Big 'Ol Tub of Goo- by comparison, and he, well, kicked your scrawny ass in every metric of Presidential performance imaginable!

Hmm. Wonder if he got an edge by spending all that extra time reading PDB's Instead of showing off a skill mastered in grade school to middle aged reporters? Just thinking out loud here.....

and then W's musings turn downright delusional:

Even surrounded by security, biking gives him solitude, he says. It's "a
chance for me to feel like I'm outside the bubble."

Georgie, "you keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means." > Swallow hard and get this: W thinks that riding his bike on a private ranch in the Middle of Freaking Nowhere Texas, surrounded by armed security guards is getting outside the Bubble!. W has officially retreated so far into the bubble he doesn't even recognize it anymore.

No Mr. President, "getting outside the bubble" means going to Camp Casey, or giving a speech in front of an audience that hadn't been pre-screened for their sycophancy. It does NOT mean playing around on a private retreat when you are Supposed to be governing!!!

and I promised you Socks and indeed there were Socks:

The president pulled out a cardboard box and passed out Peloton One bike socks to the participants, then posed with each rider for the official White House photographer.

Hmm Peloton....Sounds awfully French to me...Does Bill O'Reilly know about this?
But I saved the best for last. possibly the most revealing moment of the day, was when W gave himself a nickname:

In keeping with his pet name habit, he referred to himself as "Bike Guy." It is clearly an identification that has great meaning for him.

"Bike Guy". Hmm. That's just....spiffing. We are being led by a man who calls HIMSELF "Bike Guy". Its only too bad being "President Guy" or "Statesman Guy" or even "world Leader Guy" doesn't have the same meaning to him.

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