The President's apparent mental fragility should give US voters pause for thought at the ballot box...The Observer of London
It will, we are confidently told, be the most important American election for generations. In the words last week of Dick Cheney, the voice of what passes for gravitas in the Bush Administration, Americans will have to make 'about as serious a decision as anybody is ever asked to make' when they go to the polls in 17 days' time.
The prophets of doom, whom Cheney exemplifies, are precisely right about the importance of this election. But the momentous decision awaiting Americans is not whether they return to power a President who is uniquely qualified to protect the US against terrorism, as Cheney et al would have us believe. It is whether they re-elect a man who, it is now clear, has become palpably unstable.
The evidence has been before our eyes for some time, but only during the course of this election campaign has it crystallised - just in time, possibly, for the 2 November election. The 43rd US President has always had a much-publicised knack for mangled syntax, but now George Bush often searches an agonisingly long time, sometimes in vain, for the right words. His mind simply blanks out at crucial times. He is prone, I am told, to foul-mouthed temper tantrums in the White House. His handlers now rarely allow him to speak an unscripted word in public.