[[M E M O R I E S]] * Hmm. I guess that when your presidency is collapsing all around you, your public disapproval numbers rival Richard M. Nixon’s, and even formerly loyal right-wing talk-show hosts are trash-talking you on the air, a conservative U.S. chief executive might take time to reflect on some of the lesser-known triumphs of his time in office. But a fish story?
When asked by the German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag to cite his high point since moving into the Oval Office in January 2001, Bush said, “You know, I’ve experienced many great moments and it’s hard to name the best.” He continued: “I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7 1/2-pound perch in my lake.” Bush was referring to 11-acre manmade pond, stocked heavily with bass and bait fish, that’s part of his 1,583-acre estate located seven miles northwest of Crawford, Texas.
Perhaps the Germans should give the prez a do-over. After all, when asked during the 2004 presidential race to point out mistakes he’d made in office, Dubya couldn’t think of a single one. (Not that there weren’t plenty, even back then, that he might have mentioned, from tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to starting an inadequately planned war in Iraq.) Maybe if Bild am Sonntag had “given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it,” as Bush helpfully suggested to that other inquirer three years ago, he’d have come up with a better highlight. Or maybe not. A prez known for telling more whoppers than he catches might still have picked the perch.
UPDATE: Oddly, some news outlets are now reporting that Bush bragged to that German newspaper about catching a largemouth bass, rather than a perch. But ain’t that the way with fish stories? They tend to change, the more times they’re told.
READ MORE: “Many of You Voted for an Idiot,” by Joseph Hughes (Hughes for America); “Bush Tells German Paper He Caught the Largest Fresh-Water Perch in World History,” by John Aravosis (AMERICAblog); “There's Something Truly You-Know-What About This Story,” by Tistero (Hullabaloo).