On Sunday, Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times described coverage of Abraham Lincoln's first inaugural, writing, "Then, as now, the Washington press corps seemed to revel in the search for meaning in every facial tic or expression of its subjects."
This week, his newspaper did the same sort of mind-reading in its coverage. A news story by David E. Sanger asserts that "what [Obama] did say must have come as a bit of a shock to Mr. Bush.... [H]e had rarely been forced to sit in silence listening to a speech about how America had gone off the rails on his watch."
The noted swami Maureen Dowd went even further, creating mock inner dialogue for Bush:
With W. looking on, and probably gradually realizing with irritation, as he did with Colbert, who Mr. Obama’s target was — (Is he talking about me? Is 44 saying I messed everything up?) — the newly minted president let him have it:
“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals,” he said to wild applause (and to Bartlett’s), adding: “Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.” He said America is choosing hope over fear, unity over discord, setting aside “false promises” and “childish things.”