Yesterday on the Charlie Rose Show, journalists Jon Meacham, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Robert Draper discussed President Bush’s “impassioned and defiant” final press conference held that morning. Meacham called Bush’s demeanor in the presser “Nixon lite” and Draper said, “I don’t know that [Bush] has ever quite respected” the press’s mission. Following that point, Stolberg noted that on Bush’s last flight on Air Force One, the press asked for a photo with him, but Bush declined:
STOLBERG: [R]elations between the Bush White House and the press are so soured that even at the very end of the flight, when Dana Perino came back and a TV cameraman said, “Why don’t you send the president back to have a picture with us,” she said, “You won’t ask him any questions, will you?” And then she said she would think about it, and she came back and she said, “Well, I’m sorry, you know, we are out of time.”
Now, he is the president of the United States. If he had engaged the press throughout his administration and used the press to his advantage, he would not find himself at the end of his presidency in a situation where he couldn’t even come back for a simple photograph.