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