PRESIDENT BUSH hasn't taken questions from White House reporters in nearly a month. He's had just 15 solo news conferences during his presidency, the last a 13-minute session at his Texas ranch. When he does answer questions at town hall-type campaign rallies, they're from pre-screened supporters. As Towson University professor Martha Joynt Kumar notes in a forthcoming article in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Mr. Bush opened a news conference with Afghan president Hamid Karzai by saying, "We'll answer questions in the tradition of democratic societies." Under the Bush presidency, that tradition hasn't flourished.
If I were him, I wouldn't want to answer any questions, either.