EDITORIAL: Some parting words for President Bush from Illinois

Thank you, Mr. President, for taking time from your busy schedule of listening to phone calls and looking at bank records to meet with the people of the great state of Illinois.

We know there’s a war on, the world is closer to the brink of nuclear crisis thanks to Iran and North Korea, Osama bin Laden is still at large, New Orleans is still in ruins and the world is accusing us of war crimes. But somehow, when you come to dine with us simple folk out here in the Midwest, far from the harsh, unfair criticisms of political pundits and hacks that have infiltrated the Washington Press Corps, all those problems seem to melt away.

Sitting down for lunch with the simple, Midwestern, heartland of America denizens like Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and the CEO of Exelon Corp. is exactly what the leader of the free world should be doing with his time. Let other people handle the big problems. You have schmoosing to do. Illinois republicans aren’t just going to be elected in Illinois – they need help in the form of Presidential appearances at fundraisers. Not to mention you need a public relations campaign to boost your teetering approval rating to keep that pesky Congress in line.

And, of course, it’s always a nice idea to drop in on the home district of your friend, Dennis Hastert – the political machine, after all, does not stop west of the Potomac.

Please visit as often as you like, Mr. Bush. The people of Illinois will never ask you the hard questions about Social Security. When a President sits in the dining room to enjoy his meal, it’s because it’s clearly too hot in the Washington kitchen, and we have no right to disturb you as you eat.

Especially because, if we do, we may just get our phone tapped.