ITWASSOOTED: Death Watch at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Friday, October 21, 2005

Death Watch at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

For all practical purposes, governing the nation has stopped at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as aides deal with an increasingly despondent President, mounting scandals and defecting dissidents from the Ship of State.

White House insiders say George W. Bush’s mood swings have increased to the point where meetings with the President must be cancelled, schedules shifted and plans changed to keep a bitter, distracted leader from the public eye.

“He’s like a zombie some days, walking around in a trance,” says one aide who, for obvious reasons, asks not to be identified. “Other times he launches into angry outbursts, cussing out anybody who gets near him.”

Aides say gallows humor has descended on the White House, where the West Wing is now referred to as “death row” and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, along with Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, are known as “dead men walking,” a reference to the last walk death row inmates take to the execution chamber.

With indictments expected against Libby or Rove or both any day now from the Valerie Plame scandal, the White House mood has a “Final Days” aura (“Final Days” was the title of Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s book about the last days of the Nixon administration). Although no one expects President Bush to be impeached or resign, Internet blogs buzzed this week with talk of a possible resignation by Vice President Dick Cheney.
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