By George W. Bush’s own account, “the most nervous moment” of his presidency—indeed, of his entire life—was throwing the first pitch at the 2001 World Series.
That’s according to an interview Bush gave to the producers of Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience, a documentary that aired over the weekend on HBO and CNN. Here he is telling the story of Game One of the 2001 Yankees-Diamondbacks series:
The adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and the ball felt like a shotput. And Todd Greene, the catcher, looked really small. 60 feet and six inches seemed like a half-mile. And anyway, I took a deep breath and threw it, and thankfully it went over the plate. The response was overwhelming. It was the most nervous I had ever been. It was the most nervous moment of my entire presidency, it turns out.
Is that how it turns out?!
Here is a list of things George W. Bush did that didn’t make him as nervous as the time he threw a ball:
- Challenged his father—at the time the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations—to a fight, mano a mano.
- Was arrested for drunk driving.
- Quit drinking.
- Achieved narrowest presidential victory in history after a month-long recount battle.
- Nearly choked to death on a pretzel.
- Received warning in August 2001 that Osama bin Laden was “determined to strike” in the United States.
- Flew around the nation in Air Force One on September 11, 2001, looking for a safe place to land as nation beneath him shuddered under worst attack in modern memory.
- Ordered the invasion of Afghanistan.
- Ordered the invasion of Iraq.
- Survived grenade attack in Tblisi, Georgia.
- Presided over federal response to the destruction of the nation’s 31st largest city by a storm.
- Initiated and authorised most wide-ranging extrajudicial surveillance of American citizens in a generation.
- authorised the torture of detainees in U.S. custody.
Anyway, that was some [email protected]$%#ing pitch, though.
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