PRESIDENT Bush could not even draw a full house of journalists for his ultimate exit press conference. Many had more pressing business looking forward; they did not miss much, although in insouciant mood Mr Bush probably revealed more of his character than he intended. The most shocking comment from him was that he and his colleagues had fun even in the darkest days of Iraq. And in denying that America had lost its moral standing in the world during his time in office he showed how shallow his thinking remains on major issues: In certain quarters of Europe you can be popular by blaming every Middle East problem on Israel. Or you can be popular by joining the International Criminal Court. I guess I could have been popular by accepting Kyoto. When asked why he had not been able to achieve a peace agreement in the Middle East, he replied: That's a good question; it's been a long time since they've had peace in the Middle East. I know we have advanced the process. It may have been a good question but it was a terrible answer. If Mr Bush really thinks that he has advanced the peace process he must be delusional.
Even at the end of these disastrous, wasted eight years he was still expressing puzzlement over why I have become so divisive and why my critics get hostile.