At 9:04 a.m., before his speech, Bush went into a classroom for a brief reading demonstration. He smiled when he saw the 18 children. At 9:07 p.m., his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., leaned over and whispered to him. Bush’s face suddenly went grim.
At that point, officials apparently thought the crash was an accident. Bush sat with his hands folded and his legs crossed, with a bemused look. The second-graders read so well that Bush said, “Really good readers! Whoo! This must be sixth-graders.”
Bush asked his standard question about whether any of the children read more than they watch television, and was pleased to hear that some do. Their reading included the phrase “more to come.” Bush asked, “What does that mean? “More to come?”
One of the pupils said, “Something else is going to happen.”
Bush said, “That’s exactly right.”