I should probably be writing about today’s immigration nonsense but even the boss can’t get motivated. When Hot Air debuted last April 24, Bush’s approval ratings were around 40%, amnesty was at the top of his domestic agenda, and Congress was deadlocked over whether to demand border enforcement before amnesty or a comprehensive strategy. Eleven and a half months later, nothing’s changed except who controls Congress. But will that matter?
In contrast to her approach to other controversial issues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has told the White House that she cannot pass a bill with Democratic votes alone, nor will she seek to enforce party discipline on the issue. Bush will have to produce at least 70 Republican votes before she considers a vote on comprehensive immigration legislation, a task that may be very difficult for a president saddled with low approval ratings.
Democratic conservatives, particularly freshmen who seized their seats from Republicans, weathered a barrage of attacks on the issue before their victories in November and are not anxious to relive the experience, aides and lawmakers say.
He was talking about this in Arizona today and somehow managed to be even more gratingly platitudinous than usual, if that’s possible (e.g., “You cannot fully secure the border until you take pressure off the border”), so let’s skip it. I offer you instead this near-miss with tragedy, which continues a Bush tradition of barely escaping bizarre manners of death. I can’t find a link, but I distinctly recall Papa Bush falling into some quicksand a few years ago and being rescued by the Secret Service moments before he was lost to history. The president himself, of course, nearly succumbed back in 2002 to a pretzel.
Imagine the reaction among environmentalist progressives if he’d succeeded in dropping a live wire into the gas tank — of a hybrid:
Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.
Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford’s hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.
“I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness!’ So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front,” Mulally said. “I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen. This is all off the record, right?“
Exit question: Couldn’t it be said that Mulally was doing a job (half of) Americans won’t do? (See what I did there?)
Update: Michael Roston of Raw Story e-mails to remind me of another brush with death — but Bush wasn’t the victim in this one.