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Senior aides describe Bush as increasingly “edgy” or “nervous” or “unfocused.” They say the President goes from apparent coherent thought one moment to aimless rambles about political enemies and those who are “out to get me.”
“It’s worse than the days when Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s began setting in,” one longtime GOP operative told me privately this week. “You don’t know if he’s going to be coherent from one moment to the next. What scares me is if he lapses into one of those fogs during a public appearance.”
Aides say Bush, who has always had trouble focusing during times of stress, is increasingly distant during meetings, often staring off into space during discussions on the nation’s security and other issues.
Card has responded to the crisis by cutting back on the number of staff members with direct access to the President and jumping in to answer questions when Bush’s mind wanders.
“Some people say Karl Rove is ‘Bush’s brain,’” says one increasingly-concerned West Winger. “Well Andy has become the President’s voice. He’s there to speak when the President seems unable to find form an answer.”
Bush’s mental state is a hot topic on Internet blogs and has increased since this web site disclosed last year that the White House physician had placed the President on anti-depressant medication – a story the administration never denied. Others, including prominent psychiatrists like Dr. Justin Frank of George Washington University, wonder if Bush, an admitted heavy drinker who claims he quit without any professional help, is hitting the bottle again.
An increasing number of mainstream media outlets, including Newsweek, The Washington Post and the New York Daily News recently confirmed our earlier reports about Bush’s temper tantrums.-