please remember that fiona, ex-slave, ex-grey warden, grand enchanter, leader of the mage rebellion, the legend who said ‘fuck the divine’, lover of king maric, friend of duncan, rival of wynne, mother of the king, and the only grey warden ever to be cured of the taint exists
John first briefed President Bush in 2007. He was there to talk about an influential Shia cleric, Muqtada Al-Sadr, who’d given the U.S. a lot of trouble and was currently hiding out in Iran. This was a pretty rough time in old Muqtada’s life, and the president liked what he heard. Then he and John talked about Saddam Hussein, which was apparently one of Bush’s favorite subjects. It went great. Pro-Tip: If you ever meet the president, say something about how his archnemesis sucks. Generally a good icebreaker.
That was John’s first journey into the Oval Office, and he was most surprised by how completely isolated the president actually is, “This guy walked by with a tray of Diet Cokes with the seal of the POTUS on them. I remember seeing them and just going, whoa.”
Those presidential Cokes aren’t sheer novelty, either. John saw them as a sign. "These guys are so cut off from the real world. It’s just so odd. You walk in there and the air feels different, everything feels different. It’s very hushed, very quiet.”
And yeah, that weirdness and isolation have an impact on the people who deliver news to the president.
“You go in there and you’re nervous. This is the most important guy on the planet and you’re going in there and you’re giving him your view on something. Um, and, uh, y'know, but as an intelligence analyst … I was always taught that regardless of what it is you’ve got to tell him the truth. As long as you can back up what you’re saying and you believe this … you give him your best truth.”
That worked out well for John on his first trip to the White House. Yes, that was foreshadowing. Good on you for spotting it!