According to Thomas M. DeFrank and the New York Daily News, Bush is said to be “frustrated, sometimes angry and even bitter."
In a story that's been reprinted as far as Pakistan, Bush is charactarised as being moody as he deals with strains including Hurricane Katrina, The Iraq War, Miers' nomination, and the seemingly likely indictment of top Whitehouse aids.
"This is not some manager at McDonald's chewing out the help," said a source with close ties to the White House when told about these outbursts. "This is the President of the United States, and it's not a pleasant sight."
Presidential advisers and friends say Bush is a mass of contradictions: cheerful and serene, peevish and melancholy, occasionally lapsing into what he once derided as the "blame game." They describe him as beset but unbowed, convinced that history will vindicate the major decisions of his presidency even if they damage him and his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections.
At the same time, these sources say Bush, who has a long history of keeping staffers in their place, has lashed out at aides as his political woes have mounted.
"The President is just unhappy in general and casting blame all about," said one Bush insider. "Andy [Card, the chief of staff] gets his share. Karl gets his share. Even Cheney gets his share. And the press gets a big share."
The vice president remains Bush's most trusted political confidant. Even so, the Daily News has learned Bush has told associates Cheney was overly involved in intelligence issues in the runup to the Iraq war that have been seized on by Bush critics.
Bush is so dismayed that "the only person escaping blame is the President himself," said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration "illogical."
A second senior Bush loyalist disagreed, saying Bush knows "some of these things are self-inflicted," like the Miers nomination, where Bush jettisoned contrary advice from his advisers and appointed his longtime personal lawyer.
"He must know that the way he did that, relying on his own judgment and instinct, was not good," another key adviser said.
This report comes after last months National Enquirer claim that Bush was drinking again. Also last month, Mary MacElveen wrote a story in which she expressed doubts that Bush had ever been sober. Alchoholism could certainly explain the mood swings described in DeFrank's story. On the other hand, maybe the insulation around him can't keep up the facade that 'all is great and well' in 43's Whitehouse.