Now compare the Lincoln picture with a recent photo of President Bush, age 61.
David Brooks is thrilled that President Bush seems impervious to bad news and looks great. I'm not. The president should be rolling on the floor in agony. We'd feel better about him if he was, as Peggy Noonan suggested last week.
My reading of history suggests that the greatest leaders all suffer terribly as they deal with the great events facing them. GW, Lincoln, FDR--all of them, even as they managed to retain their balance wore the cares of their office on their faces. FDR at the end of his 2nd term told a friend he couldn't possibly consider a 3rd term unless events in Europe went terribly awry (as they did). He was simply too tired. You can get up about the room when you're tired and go for a walk, FDR said. But he had to sit in his chair day after day and week after week and he was just sick of it.
There is something pathologically strange about Bush's imperviousness to bad news. As I have indicated before, I believe it stems from a combination of his religious faith and history of alcoholism. I find neither explanation reassuring.