As voters try to make up their minds about George W. Bush's fitness as commander-in-chief, they should meditate on his behavior during a crucial half hour beginning at 8:46 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001. This behavior was witnessed by a large number of reporters, and much of it was recorded on videotape.
At 8:46 a.m., Flight 11 struck one of the two WTC towers, as Bush's motorcade headed for Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. Within five minutes, TV networks interrupted their regular programming to cover the incident.
At 8:55 a.m., Bush heard about the news as he arrived at Booker Elementary. Nevertheless, at 9:03 a.m. he went into a second-grade classroom, posed for picutres and listened to the students' reading exercises. As he later explained: "I felt it was an accident. I was concerned about it, but there were no alarm bells."