New York Times columnist Bob Herbert nails it when he writes about Bush's out-to-lunch attitude on the entire Sept. 11 commission and his role in Washington, D.C.

Herbert writes: Condi Rice was in Washington trying to pass her oral exam before the 9/11 commission yesterday, and the president was on vacation in Texas. As usual, they were in close agreement, this time on the fact that neither they nor anyone else in this remarkably aloof and arrogant administration is responsible for the tragic mess unfolding in Iraq, and its implications for the worldwide war on terror.

The president called Ms. Rice from his pickup truck on the ranch to tell her she had done a great job before the panel.

It doesn't get more surreal than that.

Mr. President, there's a war on. You might consider hopping a plane to Washington.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, likewise, is AWOL on the issue.


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