White House: “like working in an insane asylum”


Richard Moore


Bush's Depression: Been There, Reported That
Sep 28, 2005, 06:38

Depressed and demoralized White House staffers say working at
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is "life in a hellhole" as they try
to deal with a sullen, moody President whose temper tantrums
drive staffers crying from the room and bring the business of
running the country to a halt.

"It's like working in an insane asylum," says one White House
aide. "People walk around like they're in a trance. We're the
dance band on the Titanic, playing out our last songs to
people who know the ship is sinking and none of us are going
to make it."

Increasing reports from the usually tight-lipped staff of the
Bush Administration talk of a West Wing dominated by gallows
humor, long faces and a depression that has all but paralyzed
daily routines.

"If POTUS (President of the United States) is on the road you
can breathe a little easier for the day, knowing that those
with him are catching hell and the mood will be a little
easier in the Wing (West Wing) until he returns," says another

Capitol Hill Blue began reporting on Bush's mood swings and
erratic behavior in June 2004 but the stories of an erratic,
moody President circulating within the White House were
ignored by the "mainstream media" until recently. Now more and
more outlets have begun to report on what many administration
staffers say is a President out of control.

"A president who normally thrives on tough talk and
self-assurance finds himself at what aides privately describe
as a low point in office, one that is changing the psychic and
political aura of the White House, as well as its distinctive
political approach," Jim VandeHei and Peter Baker wrote in The
Washington Post over the weekend. "Aides who never betrayed
self-doubt now talk in private of failures selling the
American people on the Iraq war, the president's Social
Security plan and his response to Hurricane Katrina."

That sentiment is echoed by former Republican Speaker of the
House Newt Gingrich.

"I think the Administration realizes the larger system has
failed," Gingrich says. "They are not where they want to be on
Iraq. Katrina was an absolute failure."

"It's a standing joke among the president's top aides: who
gets to deliver the bad news? Warm and hearty in public, Bush
can be cold and snappish in private, and aides sometimes
cringe before the displeasure of the president of the United
States, or, as he is known in West Wing jargon, POTUS," Evan
Thomas wrote in Newsweek on September 19. Thomas talked to
"several aides who did not wish to be quoted because it might
displease the president."

Thomas went on to report "Bush can be petulant about dissent;
he equates disagreement with disloyalty. After five years in
office, he is surrounded largely by people who agree with
him.Late last week, Bush was, by some accounts, down and
angry. But another Bush aide described the atmosphere inside
the White House as "strangely surreal and almost detached." At
one meeting described by this insider, officials were oddly
self-congratulatory, perhaps in an effort to buck each other
up. Life inside a bunker can be strange, especially in

To regular readers of this web site, this should sound all too
familiar. Here is what we reported on June 4, 2004:

"Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the
edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and
paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in
Iraq or at home. 'It reminds me of the Nixon days,' says a
longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White
House. 'Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him.
That's the mood over there.'"

Last year, the naysayers said we got it wrong.

But they got it wrong.


And we got it right and ahead of everyone else.


Yes, we're gloating. We all too often read reports in the big
boys and have a feeling of deja vu because we're already been
there and reported that.

© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue

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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland

"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

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