Think fast!

Whatever else you might say about him, Bush has quick reflexes.

Published December 15, 2008 2:20PM (EST)

George W. Bush has bad political instincts and reflexes, but you've got to give him this much: All that time spent working out has kept his physical reflexes sharp.

Seriously, he not only ducked Iraqi TV reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi's first and second thrown shoe, but he did it with a certain aplomb. He dodged each shoe just enough, but without looking like a spaz. Nor did he cower or duck down behind the podium. He even came up with the "size 10" joke later.

If only Bush's ability to coolly avoid overreacting and avoid unnecessarily dramatic responses had somehow carried over to his war or income tax or torture or any number of other policies . . .

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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