Friday, May 07, 2004

As Real As It Gets

It's so easy to become jaded with politicians who spend a great deal of time "positioning" themselves so as to easily change positions later. It's easy to become cynical watching politicians who seem to do things simply for the PR or to pander to some group, simply for votes. In this environment, it is so refreshing to encounter stories that show a high degree of character and humanity in our leaders, particularly in the President of the United States. Here are two of such stories that have come to my attention.

In the first story, when working a rope line in Cincinnati a person in the crowd points out to the President, a teenage girl who had lost her mother in The World Trade Center. His reaction shows a level of compassion that grabs one by the throat. The photo, taken not by the press or by a White House photographer but by her father, is striking and the story is even more so. Do read it.

The second comes via Hugh Hewitt and concerns Mike McNaughton, a young man who lost his leg in Afghanistan:

"President Bush came to visit the wounded in the hospital. He told Mike that when he could run a mile, that they would go on a run together. True to his word, he called Mike every month or so to see how he was doing. Well, last week they went on the run, 1 mile with the president. Not something you'll see in the news, but seeing the president taking the time to say thank you to the wounded and to give hope to one of my best friends was one of the greatest/best things I have seen in my life. It almost sounds like a corny email chain letter, but God bless him."

This is a story that was given little publicity, in fact you will notice that the link to the story is to Snopes, a website that dispels or confirms "urban legends." Again, read the whole story, which includes a photo of the President running with this brave young man.