Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing is always worth reading, but today's is a special treat.
A pertinent excerpt:
President of All the People?
Over on NiemanWatchdog.org, the other Web site I work for, an authority on the presidency today writes that Bush may actually be inventing a new political practice for a sitting president, by only speaking before screened audiences.
Jeffrey K. Tulis, a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of "The Rhetorical Presidency," writes that George Washington "was intent on establishing the precedent that the president was chosen to represent the whole country, not just his partisan supporters."
Presidents traditionally didn't stump for policy, either. And, Tulis writes, "when Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson began the modern practice of appealing over the heads of Congress to the people at large on speaking tours -- which they did to politically diverse audiences -- they both felt compelled to defend and justify their departure from previous practice."
So Tulis lists some questions he thinks the press should be asking about Bush's new practice and how it fits with the traditions of the American presidency.
It goes on from there.
And there's more in the column, of course, including telling quotes about Bush's faith-based initiatives and the new social security war room.