Quidditch, by golly
Forseveralyears,InsidetheBeltway has observed the mysterious bike-ridinghabitsofPresidentBush.
Members of the White House press corps, who regularly ac- company the president deep into the woods of suburban Maryland or else onto the dusty terrain of his Texas ranch, seldom if ever actually see Mr. Bush atop a bicycle.
The big question is why? Could something secretive or covert be taking place that doesn’t involve two wheels?
For instance, did Mr. Bush in 2004 really fall off of a bicycle and cut his chin, upper lip, nose, both knees and right hand (when his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry, inquired: “Did the training wheels fall off?”), or did something more unusual cause his injuries?
Was the president actually “enjoying” a bike ride so much during a major terrorist scare in Washington that the Secret Service, or so we were told, didn’t bother to tell him that his own wife, Laura, and Vice President Dick Cheney had been rushed into a secure bunker?
And how about the Sunday morning not long ago when Mr. Bush’s church attire was unusually “bulky”? Immediately after the sermon, the president in the space of seconds had shed his suit of clothes and appeared in a brightly colored outfit that the White House insisted was “bike-riding gear.”
“I’ve never seen a man who hasn’t been drinking get out of a suit faster,” noted Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle.
Now, we learn of yet another bizarretwistinvolvingapresidential bikingtrekovertheJan.6-7weekend. Mr.Bushhadbeenparticipatinginan “extended” intelligence briefing in the Oval Office with his national security team, when suddenly a halfdozen young men and women showed up dressed in the same colorful gear worn by Mr. Bush.
The entire group, including the president, immediately climbed into several heavily protected vehicles and sped off. But wait, there’s more, discovered in the official White House pool report:
“Four of them carried rakes and brooms along with their riding gear; why they had the rakes and brooms with them was unclear.”