George W. Bush turned down an Obama administration invitation to appear by his side at Ground Zero today, claiming he wants to stay out of the spotlight and that he already plans to be there for the 10th anniversary memorial in September. Fair enough! But this doesn't mean Team Bush won't leak bitchy comments to the Daily News just in time for Obama's visit, anyway.
Here's the latest front in the "Which President Is Better at Killin'" tug-of-war that has captured the nation's imagination, in shame:
WASHINGTON - George W. Bush won't be at Ground Zero with President Obama Thursday in part because he feels his team is getting short shrift in the decade-long manhunt for Osama Bin Laden.
"[Bush] viewed this as an Obama victory lap," a highly-placed source told the Daily News Wednesday.
Bush's visit to the rubble after the 9/11 attacks was the emotional high point of his presidency, but associates say the invitation to return with his successor was a non-starter.
"He doesn't feel personally snubbed and appreciates the invitation, but Obama's claiming all the credit and a lot of other people deserve some of it," the source added.
"Obama gave no credit whatsoever to the intelligence infrastructure the Bush administration set up that is being hailed from the left and right as setting in motion the operation that got Bin Laden. It rubbed Bush the wrong way."
It definitely is a "victory lap" for Obama, as he's trying to milk the "victory" for as much political gain as possible. As Bush well understands, Obama would be a bad politician if he didn't try to do exactly that. You have to call attention to yourself in these situations, and boldly! This is why normal, humble humans don't run for political office. And, at least before Sunday night, there was no rule saying you had to kiss your predecessor's feet every step of the way in order to claim credit for something you did, and where the downside risk was all yours.
[Image via AP]