Back in 2000, there were a lot of stories about how George Bush was always getting tired and complaining about the overtaxing schedule. For example, Anne E. Kornblut had an article in the Boston Globe on August 2, 2000, titled "Nomination will keep George up past bedtime; Aides schedule afternoon nap to keep him fresh" (which I can't find on line):
When George W. Bush gives his acceptance speech at the Republican convention tomorrow, it will mark the most important moment in his political life.Man, I remember reading stuff like this at the time and thinking, great, Gore will win!
It will also be past his bedtime.
That seemingly trivial coincidence has become a source of concern for the Bush entourage, who know well that the candidate's sometimes awkward speech can become even more tangled when he has not had enough sleep. In fact, Bush aides, well aware of the importance of the moment and the needs of the candidate, are scheduling him for an afternoon nap.
Aides deny they have been purposely keeping the Texas governor on a lighter schedule in recent days to give him rest. Although Bush held only one public event on Sunday and two Monday, communications director Karen Hughes said that, outside of public view, he had "a pretty busy schedule."
But the intensity surrounding the campaign has lessened significantly since Bush named Dick Cheney his running mate last week, and it appeared from the public schedule during the past few days that he was pacing himself, much as he did in the early days of the Republican primaries.
On Sunday, after staging one rally and rehearsing his 38-minute speech in a friend's living room, Bush was the first to excuse himself from dinner in order to retire around 9 p.m. Under normal circumstances, Bush is asleep around 9:30 p.m., Hughes said. His convention speech begins after 10 p.m....
Bush has long treasured his private time, reserving time to go running and avoiding events that run late at night.
He faced criticism during the New Hampshire primary from voters who felt he was too laid-back; yet when he did campaign for more than 14 hours on one day, Bush made one of his most memorable verbal missteps.
At an appearance in Iowa on Jan. 21, he told the audience: "When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and we knew exactly who the 'they' were.
It was us versus them. And it was clear who 'them' was. Today, we're not so sure who the 'they' are. But we know they're there."
Hughes's explanation was one she does not seem eager to repeat: "That's how we talk in Texas when we're tired."