Mike Gallagher

There is a number of ways to describe how it feels to sit a few feet from the leader of the free world in the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in an informal, free-wheeling meeting with the President.

Overwhelming. Surreal. Amazing. Educational. Inspirational.

Most of all, one is consumed with a feeling of incredible gratitude that this privilege and opportunity has been extended.

I suppose the only thing more thrilling than spending an hour and fifteen minutes with a handful of my talk radio colleagues in the Oval Office this week for a combination on-the-record/off-the-record visit with the President is that it was the second time I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to such a meeting.

Much has been written about the history of that office and building, but for me, this was a time to listen and watch and observe and speak with the man who has been in the center of one of the most tumultuous eight-year periods in our nations’ existence.

The first time I left the White House after a similar meeting, I remember talking to my friend Sean Hannity about how different things would be if President Bush’s enemies and critics could be exposed to him in the same setting.

No where is the bumbling, fumbling, absent-minded frat boy. The idea that Bush is somehow disconnected and dense is a complete and utter fabrication, a narrative told by people with an agenda, or individuals who think they have him figured out and yet are positively clueless.

Oliver Stone might think he’s a guy who chews with his mouth open and yells at the hired help, but the George W. Bush I’ve spent nearly three hours with is a warm, funny, smart, engaged, compassionate, patriotic, decent and honorable man.

In both of our meetings, roughly three years apart, the President continually hammered home the point that he simply was not going to allow another terror attack on American soil to happen on his watch after 9/11. It consumed him. He spent mornings, noons and nights plotting, studying, worrying and figuring ways to keep Americans from being slaughtered at the hands of radical Islamists.

And when the history books are written, generations will be reminded that he succeeded.

We covered a variety of topics during this visit. And I had made a personal promise to ask the President about border patrol agents Ramos and Compean, two men who are rotting in jail because they shot a confirmed, filthy drug smuggler in the butt at the border and evidently, made some procedural mistakes after the shooting occurred.

Mike Gallagher

Mike Gallagher is a nationally syndicated radio host, Fox News Channel contributor and guest host and author of 50 Things Liberals Love to Hate.