In a press conference at the White House today, President George W. Bush flatly refused to set a timetable for reading the Iraq Study Group's report, telling reporters that doing so "would send the wrong message to our enemies."
When the group issued its report last week, many in Washington assumed that the president would move the book to the top of his reading list, but today's press conference left little doubt that Bush has no intention of being pressured into finishing the 160-page volume.
"If I were to announce that I planned to finish reading this book by summer of '07, or early '08, or some other artificial deadline, that would be giving our enemies exactly what they want," Bush told reporters. "And so I am going to stay the course and finish the book I am currently reading: 'Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog.'"
According to Professor Davis Logsdon, who teaches a course in the president's reading habits at the University of Minnesota, anyone who expects Bush to finish reading the Iraq Study Group's report any time soon will be "sorely disappointed."
"When President Bush says he's going to take his time reading something, he means it," Logsdon said. "Remember how long it took him to finish 'My Pet Goat.'"
Elsewhere, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said he had decided to run for president again in 2008 after being urged to do so by both David Letterman and Jay Leno.