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George Shrinks

12.14.2005 06:16 | DISPATCHES

At age 87, Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes, who started in 1956, may have set a record for most years spent continuously working in the public eye. He got yet more media attention for his profanity-laced interview with the Boston Globe's Suzanne Ryan. The highlight was his answer to Ms. Ryan's question about what he would ask President Bush, who's declined to be interviewed by him, if he could:

"What in the world prepared you to be the commander in chief of the largest superpower in the world? In your background, Mr. President, you apparently were incurious. You didn't want to travel. You knew very little about the military. . . . Do you think that has anything to do with the fact that the country is so [expletive] up?"

(This was too much for his son, Fox anchorman Chris Wallace, who insinuated that his father was descending into dementia: "I mean, we're going to have a competence hearing pretty soon.")

However unprepared when "elected" president, George Bush had ample opportunity to grow into the job. But no. Instead he shrank. Judging by an Internet search, my new name for Bush (no, not the Incredible Shrinking President) has yet to be applied to him. Borrowed from the cartoon character of the same name, I present. . . George Shrinks.

However, it's only in the process of shrinkage that the president resembles the latter. Like a leader should be, the original George Shrinks is a paragon of resourcefulness.


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