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Waddling Toward Lame Duckdom

One of the best moments of Bush’s presidential speeches was the touch of humor he showed about himself at the end of his 2004 GOP acceptance speech:

In the last four years -- in the last four years, you and I have come to know each other. Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand. You may have noticed I have a few flaws, too. People sometimes have to correct my English. I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called "walking." Now and then I come across as a little too blunt, and for that we can all thank the white-haired lady sitting right up there. One thing I have learned about the presidency is that whatever shortcomings you have, people are going to notice them; and whatever strengths you have, you're going to need them.

You wish that he had showed some of this humility tonight; some acknowledgment of--or argument against--the low level of esteem in which his presidency is held. Instead, President Bush recycled old arguments, offered no surprises, and stayed on course: waddling toward lame duckdom.

--Andrei Cherny