By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2004, 2:27pm PT  

Not even sure what to make of this one. Following up on a story headlined "Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides" (as pointed to on the BRAD BLOG last month), Capitol Hill Blue, the self-proclaimed "politically agnostic" news site (the oldest one on the WWW) files a report today headlined "Sullen, Depressed President Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World".

The lack of named sources in the report is again troubling here, but the "newsworthiness" of a "Commander-in-Chief" being prescribed "powerful anti-depressant drugs" is at least as notable as "WOMAN NAMES BILL CLINTON FATHER OF SON IN SHOCKING VIDEO CONFESSION" as reported by Drudge back in 1999. Not to mention that had this story, anonymous sources or not, been about Kerry instead of Bush, you can bet your boots that not only would it be leading The Drudge Report today (with a SIREN!), but it would be splattered over the entire "Liberal" and Extremist Media.

Such as it's about Bush, however, it's been picked up nowhere else yet that I've seen today. I'm waiting for the White House release of today's Press Gaggle to see if anyone asks about the story. Though I have a feeling the "Liberal" Media may drop that ball as well. What a shock.

Here's the first few grafs. The entire story is worth reading however for those familiar with the "dry alcoholic" syndrome or otherwise interested in some stunning (if true) insider gossip about a White House in disarray:

A sullen President George W. Bush is withdrawing more and more from aides and senior staff, retreating into a private, paranoid world where only the ardent loyalists are welcome.

Cabinet officials, senior White House aides and leaders on Capitol Hill complain privately about the increasing lack of “face time” with the President and campaign advisors are worried the depressed President may not be up to the rigors of a tough re-election campaign.

“Yes, there are concerns,” a top Republican political advisor admitted privately Wednesday. “The George W. Bush we see today is not the same, gregarious, back-slapping President of old. He's moody, distrustful and withdrawn.”

Bush's erratic behavior and sharp mood swings led White House physician Col. Richard J. Tubb to put the President on powerful anti-depressant drugs after he stormed off stage rather than answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay, but White House insiders say the strong, prescription medications seem to increase Bush's sullen behavior towards those around him.

“This is a President known for his ability to charm people one-on-one,” says a staff member to House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert. “Not any more.”

(Thanks to Jaime for the tip on this story!)