Reuters ran this headline yesterday: "Bush explains slow reaction to September 11 attacks: Former President George W. Bush says his apparent lack of reaction to the first news of the September 11 2001 attacks was a conscious decision to project an aura of calm in a crisis."
If I recall correctly, at the time no one criticized, but instead the media rightly praised Mr Bush's quick thinking in continuing to read the storybook to a group of little children, wrapping up calmly so as not to frighten them unduly, and waiting until he had left the classroom before switching into the take-charge crisis mode as Commander in Chief.
Regardless, I never questioned the wisdom or validity of his very-appropriate response, because I already knew, from experience, how patient and caring Mr Bush is toward children. He respects them, listens to them, and treats them kindly.
I blogged last year about my young son's encounter with then-Governor Bush in this post:
The Kids and the Future President of the United States
"Some years ago, when George W Bush was Governor of Texas, we lived in a neighborhood in Midland near Laura's family. It is an ordinary middle-class neighborhood, a few blocks from where the elder Bush's lived when George was a child. When George and Laura came to visit their family, he sometimes took walks, alone, around the quiet streets. Back then, he didn't need the Secret Service to shadow him."
Go to the original post to read it all, and find out why I will always think of Mr Bush as "the President who did the right thing even when nobody was looking."
7/31 UPDATE: Thanks to Pat @ SIGIS for the link in her always-marvelous (even when I'm not in it) "Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: Jennifer's Birthday Trip to Second Hand Rose Edition".