WASHINGTON — THE presidency is a tough job in big ways, easy in the small ways that wear down ordinary people. The president never drives or has to park, and he has not bought his own groceries at a supermarket in years.
On a typical day, Thursday Feb. 4, here's how George Bush spent his time:
5:45 a.m. Mr. Bush usually rises about 5:45 a.m. after about six-and-a-half hours of sleep. He walks a few hundred feet to work, from the White House residence along the terrace that frames the Rose Garden to his offices in the West Wing.
7 a.m. He arrives at his desk. He reads up to half a dozen newspapers and a news summary that covers most of the press.
8 a.m. He receives an intelligence briefing. At 8:15 he receives a national security briefing. At 8:45 he meets with his chief of staff.
9 a.m. Meets with top GOP congressmen in the Cabinet room near his office.
10 a.m. A personal meeting. Twenty minutes later, he hops in the motorcade to give a speech a few blocks away to a business group. This speech provides the day's news clips.
11:05 a.m. Back at the West Wing, 45 minutes after he left. He does administrative work, such as signing documents brought over by Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady, until lunch.
12:45 p.m. Lunch with Secretary of State James Baker III.
Afternoon. Divided between personal staff time and a couple of hours more of administrative work. He meets the members of the Commission on Environmental Quality, signs his annual economic report, and has his second daily meeting with his chief of staff, Sam Skinner.
6:15 p.m. Leaves the office, a typical time. Instead of heading to the residence, however, he spends 45 minutes at a reception for Rep. G. V. (Sonny) Montgomery, a Mississippi Democrat, on Capitol Hill.
Evening. Watches four newscasts at once on a bank of televisions, at home or in his office.