"Sprint To The Finish"

At the close of a wide-ranging (well worth reading) interview with Neil Cavuto, there occurred this exchange.
CAVUTO: Finally, Mr. President, on a personal note, you're low in the polls.
CAVUTO: You have got a great economy. You're trying to protect the American people, try to prevent another 9/11. You have succeeded at that in the five-plus years since. You're not getting a lot of thanks for that. Do you ever think about: I can't wait until, I don't know, mid- afternoon, January 20, 2009?
BUSH: No, not yet. I mean, I'm — I have got two years to go, and I'm going to sprint to the finish. I have got too much on my mind to worry about, you know, standing in the polls or what life's going to be in 2009. I'm — this may come as a shock to you, but I have found this to be an exhilarating, joyous experience. I love representing our country.
Emphasis mine. Oh, they'll hate him for that. He continues:
I — you know, I guess I could try to be popular. But I have always found that somebody who tries to be popular is one who may end up compromising principle. And I'm not that kind of person, Neil. I base decisions on principle. I will change tactics, but I'm not going to change my principles to try to become, you know, momentarily popular.
But it's — you know, this is a job that you make the best decisions you can make to protect the American people and grow this economy. And I'm going to keep — keep making those decisions until the day my successor is sworn in as president.
I predict that will provoke a patented Noonan snark. Because you're only serious and "engaged" if you are visibly agonizing or crying on the Senate floor. Either that, or someone will notice that Bush, too, called Obama "articulate."

I love that comment, however, because by it Bush exemplifies a dimension of prudence that seems largely to have disappeared from public life --heck, from any of our lives: the prudent man enjoys decision making. He does not experience responsibility chiefly as a series of burdens to be endured and perhaps resented (resentment generally indicates a lack of prudence --it suggests not having foreseen difficulties, and therefore lack of realism), but as a challenge to be met. I won't rehash the multiple-post discussion of prudence held here previously, I'll just assert that comments like those above reveal Bush to be a true-hearted man with a high degree of prudence. Really, the whole transcript reflects the same attitude; he harbors no rancor towards his foes -- he simply accepts that he as President must make hard decisions, and he expects those who don't have to make them to whine and complain. In matters requiring prudence, reasonable men can disagree --but I would love to see any of Bush's adversaries concede his courage just for once. The man just grow in my esteem for his character.