are obnoxious weeds. They don't belong in the
Chance is Key to President's Calm President
models self after Peter Sellers character
Posted March 16, 2003
by Keetjie Ramo
In an exclusive interview at the White House, President Bush revealed to NBC
correspondent Katie Couric the secret to his serenity on the brink of war
with Iraq. "I like to watch TV," said the President, "and
about twenty years ago I saw a movie on TV that made a tremendous impression
on me." He went onto say that the movie was Being There, starring Peter
"As you know," continued Bush, "I was drinking in those days,
and doing some drugs. It was that movie that turned my life around. I
figured that Chance Gardener must have been a recovering alcoholic, because
it seemed like he interiorized the Serenity Prayer. I could never remember
that prayer, so after I saw the movie I just kept repeating to myself Mr.
Gardener's version. He used to say, 'All is well--and all will be well--in
the garden.' I never forgot that."
Calling the Peter Sellers character "a great man," Mr. Bush said
that he saw a kindred spirit in Chance Gardener. "He wasn't a very
smart man in the way of book smarts," explained the President,
"but he was a leader. That stuff he said about economics: 'first comes
spring and then winter and then it starts all over again,' or something to
that effect, well, it was what you'd call pithy."
The President explained that as he goes about his simple schedule-exercise,
a carefully planned diet, reading the sports pages and watching ESPN,
meeting with people, spending time with the First Lady, looking at briefing
books and an early bedtime-it doesn't do any good to become 'nervous.'
"My staff works hard to make sure that I'm not exposed to anything
upsetting," he said, "and I try to spend some time every day in
Finally, Bush said that he gets strength from the fact that he is the
President ordained by God to lead America after September 11. "That was
true of Chance, as well," he said, "you could see that at the end
of the picture." He mentioned again, as in other interviews, that his
sense of destiny is heightened by the knowledge that the American people
are, "lifting me and my family up in their prayers."
Ms. Couric asked the President how he felt about the probability that
millions of people worldwide are fervently praying that, in the Iraq crisis,
cooler heads than his will prevail. Bush looked momentarily befuddled. Then
he appeared to have regained his equilibrium. "What would Chance
Gardener have done?" he asked after a moment, his face lighting up.
"Naysayers are obnoxious weeds. They don't belong in the garden."
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