Peggy Noonan Recalls When Bush Wrapped Himself in His Own Failure

It's hard to have a simple response to Peggy Noonan's opening paragraphs this week:


At a certain point, a president must own a presidency. For George W. Bush that point came eight months in, when 9/11 happened. From that point on, the presidency -- all his decisions, all the credit and blame for them -- was his. The American people didn't hold him responsible for what led up to 9/11, but they held him responsible for everything after it. This is part of the reason the image of him standing on the rubble of the twin towers, bullhorn in hand, on Sept.14, 2001, became an iconic one. It said: I'm owning it.

"I'm owning it." Noonan's partly right about that: after running scared on 9/11 and ducking the situation for a couple of days, Bush began on that Friday to act as if having presided over the worst act of terrorism ever on U.S. soil was a mark of virtue.

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