President Bush had been laying low over recent days, but it seems his inner circle considered it prudent to trot him out for a brief appearance at the White House. He surfaced on Thursday to speak vaguely about the snowballing economic crisis on Wall Street before disappearing once again.

The New York Times:

In the increasingly surreal world of the White House, the appearance was a sign that all pretense of normalcy is gone. All week long, with Wall Street engulfed by what analysts are calling the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, President Bush had mostly stayed out of sight, except when trying to maintain the façade of business as usual.

To be sure, other presidents, most recently Mr. Bush’s predecessor, Bill Clinton, have been careful about what they say in public when Wall Street is in turmoil. But by all outward appearances, Mr. Bush has been reduced this week to almost a bit player in his own government, as Washington has reoriented itself away from the White House and toward Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke.

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