In St. Louis to toss out the ceremonial first pitch in Monday’s season-opening baseball game between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, George w. Bush was steered by an aide toward an Associated Press reporter who had a question about the Iraq imbroglio.

“So who’s the AP person?” demanded Bush.

“I am,” the reporter replied.

“You are?” grumbled Bush. “Well, ask it.”

“Sir, uh, in regard to…,” the reporter began.

Bush stopped the journalist at mid-sentence. In a scolding voice, he demanded to know: “Who’re you talking to?”

The AP quickly corrected himself. “Mr. President,” he said.

Bush–who in 2002 acknowledged that “If this was a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator”–was satisfied that he had been properly addressed. He then allowed the reporter to continue. However, his reply to the question was typically short and perfunctory.

Perhaps, the reporter would have gotten a better answer if he had just said, “Your Highness…”