President Bush held the last meeting with members of his Cabinet Tuesday morning, facing the usual phalanx of TV cameras and boom mics.
After some brief remarks, the president noticed that two of the men — Associated Press cameraman Dan Huff and AP sound technician Anthony Miller — were wearing NFL football jerseys.
Mr. Huff and Mr. Miller had sought and received permission from the White House press office to wear the jerseys as part of a playful playoff rivalry: Mr. Huff’s Steeler jersey and Mr. Miller’s Raven’s jersey represented the two teams playing this weekend in a divisional championship game.
But to the president, even this small display was an opportunity to echo a message he’s been communicating for weeks now in defense of his legacy.
Perhaps the president had also not been informed ahead of time of the break in decorum and was irritated by a perceived disrespect, but as the press filed out of the Cabinet room, Mr. Bush remarked that “it’s easy to
wear the uniform of a team that’s succeeding.”
It appeared to be a reference to Mr. Bush’s insistence that he has not sought to be popular during his presidency, but rather to make tough decisions that he thought were best for the country.
“I did not sell my soul for the sake of popularity. And so when I get back home and look in the mirror I will be proud of what I see,” Mr. Bush said Sunday in an interview with Fox News.