BUSH: I think the thing that discouraged me about the vice president was uttering those famous words, "no controlling legal authority." I felt like that there needed to be a better sense of responsibility of what was going on in the White House.
I believe that -- I believe they've moved that sign, "The buck stops here," from the Oval Office desk to "The buck stops here" on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that's not good for the country. It's not right.
-- George W. Bush, during the October 2000 Presidential Debate
Keep that in mind when reading this story today - Bush Fundraisers among Overnight Guests:
President Bush opened the White House and Camp David to dozens of overnight guests last year, including foreign dignitaries, family friends and at least nine of his biggest campaign fund-raisers, documents show.
In all, Bush and first lady Laura Bush have invited at least 270 people to stay at the White House and at least the same number to overnight at the Camp David retreat since moving to Washington in January 2001, according to lists the White House provided The Associated Press.
Some guests spent a night in the Lincoln Bedroom, historic quarters that gained new fame in the Clinton administration amid allegations that Democrats rewarded major donors like Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand with accommodations there.
Let's circumvent the obvious response from Bush apologists right off - "the other guy did it too" is not an adequate explanation when discussing matters of ethics. However, what makes this newsworthy is the fact that Bush went to such pains to establish himself as averse to rewarding donors with overnight stays in the white house, and the insanely over-wrought moral crusade that the GOP launched trying to paint the fact that the practice occurred during the Clinton Administration as evidence of a deep moral decay.
Bush put himself atop a pedestal of ethics via his rhetoric. And now by his actions, he has revealed once again that he is willing to say anything to buttress the image he has cultivated of himself as a righteous force in politics.
Bush himself castigated Gore for the supposed ethical lapse of the Clinton Administration - and then when it was his turn, embraced the same behavior. While Bush and Clinton are both guilty (or innocent) of an ethics lapse regarding the Lincoln bedroom, only Bush is a hypocrite on this matter.