Chait argued that Bush's passionate devotion to exercise was a dereliction of duty. "Does the leader of the free world need to attain that level of physical achievement?" he jeered. "It's nice for Bush that he can take an hour or two out of every day to run, bike or pump iron. Unfortunately, most of us have more demanding jobs than he does."
Can you imagine any member of the Obamedia mocking the incoming gym rat-in-chief this way?
Chait was not alone. Reuters journalist Caron Bohan weaved the same unhinged themes into a piece on Bush's two-hour, 17-mile bike ride with cycling champ Lance Armstrong in Crawford, Texas, in 2005. After noting his six-day-a-week workout schedule, Bohan steered the piece into an anti-war screed:
"Bush says exercise helps sharpen his thinking. But some of his critics view his exercise obsession as an indulgence that takes time away from other priorities. Among them is Cindy Sheehan, the Vacaville, Calif., mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, who until late last week was camped out down the road from Bush's ranch seeking a meeting with him to discuss her opposition to the war. Sheehan, who left her vigil on Thursday to tend to her sick mother, has said she believes Bush should take fewer bike rides to have more time to focus on the 'the nation's work.'"
Fit Republican president = Selfish, indulgent, creepy fascist.
Fit Democratic president = Disciplined, health-conscious Adonis role model.
The good news: In just a few short weeks, W. will be able to exercise in peace, free from the disapproving glares of journalists now rushing to mop the sweat -- er, the glisten -- from Barack Obama's hallowed brow.