Recommended reading today: Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris' New York Times blog in which he interviews several White House photographers during the Bush administration. One comes up with this nugget after President Bush's farewell speech to the nation:
And I turned to one of my editors -- First I said, "Oh, my God." And he said, "What?" And I said, "You've got to see this picture of Bush. This is really stunning." And I flipped it over to him to process and his first reaction was, "Wow." And I said, "If he wasn't just back there behind that door crying, I don't know what that look on his face is." Because he just looks absolutely devastated as he comes through this door after essentially ending his eight year presidency. And it's just really striking. He just looks absolutely devastated.
(h/t: Nick Young)
The reality of 8 misspent years, for him and for the country, with no “do-over” was setting in.
I read the entire article (which is terrific, by the way), all the while anticipating the photo in question. When it comes up, it really is a startling moment; it truly is an expression unlike I've seen from Bush in his 8 years in office. I won't go so far as to surmise it's an expression of defeat, but certainly one of total devastation...over something.