The most clear-eyed account of the Bush press conference is, naturally, written by a TV critic -- someone who doesn't give a damn about access, about that exclusive sit-down with 43 on Air Force One or Cheney in The Bunker. Read it, it's fun.
I'll quote just one passage:
There were brief interludes during the news conference -- especially the long languid pauses -- when some viewers might have flashed back to the presidency of Richard Nixon. That is, the Nixon Years at their most tumultuous and Twilight Zoney, when the old Trickster would come on TV and you'd sit there not just fascinated but a trifle terrified of what he might say, who he'd accuse of persecuting him, and whether he might come completely unglued or just melt into a hideous puddle right before your horrified eyes.
He's right. I'm old enough to remember Nixon, and Bush absolutely shares Nixon's sneakiness, his paranoia, his free-floating resentment, his utter inability to relax as long as he knows that even one person, anywhere in the world, could possibly impede one of his goals in any way.
They say we became more cynical as a nation after Watergate, but there was never a time in Nixon's presidency when his weirdness wasn't frankly discussed. Now, by contrast, if we talk about Bush's psyche at all we ascribe to him a praiseworthy Marlboro Man clarity of thought, utterly devoid of shadows and grays. This is utter nonsense.