George W. Bush was just asked whether it's "still possible" for Paul Wolfowitz to "provide the kind of leadership needed" at the World Bank. Press secretary Tony Snow said just yesterday that the White House stands by Wolfowitz, but the president's answer today sure sounded more like a eulogy than like an affirmative show of support.
"I believe all parties in this matter have acted in good faith," Bush said in a markedly somber tone. "I regret that it has come to this. I admire Paul Wolfowitz. I admire his heart, and I particularly admire his focus in helping the poor. There is a board meeting going on as we speak. All I can tell you is that Paul Wolfowitz has an interest in what's best for the bank, just like he's had an interest in what's best in making sure the bank focuses on things that matter -- human suffering, the human condition. So I applaud his vision, I respect him a lot, and as I said, I regret that it has come to this."
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.