Excerpts From "Dead Certain", a New Book on Bush
(2002 White House Photo)
The New York Times presents some excerpts from "Dead Certain", a new book on President Bush that hits the stands Tuesday. Author Robert Draper (grandson of Leon Jaworski) got Bush to cooperate with his effort and had several long interviews with him.
On his plans after the White House:
“I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.”
....“We’ll have a nice place in Dallas,” where he will be running what he called “a fantastic Freedom Institute” promoting democracy around the world.
“I’m playing for October-November.” That is when he hopes the Iraq troop increase will finally show enough results to help him achieve the central goal of his remaining time in office: “To get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence,” and, he said later, “stay longer.”
The Washington Post, in its article about the book, reports that it was (now)Chief Justice John Roberts who suggested Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. Rove was opposed but nobody listened to him, and Harriet didn't want the job but Bush and the first lady talked her into it. [Update: A later version of the WaPo article includes a dennial from Roberts that he recommended Miers to Bush.
On getting rid of Rumsfeld:
During a private dinner at the White House to discuss how to buoy Bush's presidency, seven voted to dump Rumsfeld, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, incoming chief of staff Joshua B. Bolten, the outgoing chief, Andrew Card, and Ed Gillespie, then an outside adviser and now White House counselor. Bush raised his hand along with three others who wanted Rumsfeld to stay, including Rove and national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley.
The book has some gossipy infighting details about Rove, Card, Bartlett and Bolton.
Rove also opposed Cheney for the VP slot:
Rove told Bush it was a bad idea to select Cheney as his vice president: "Selecting Daddy's top foreign-policy guru ran counter to message. It was worse than a safe pick -- it was needy." But Bush did not care -- he was comfortable with Cheney and "saw no harm in giving his VP unprecedented run of the place."
About Rove, Bush and Valerie Plame:
Rove assured Bush, Draper reports, that he had known nothing about Valerie Plame, a CIA operative whose covert status was revealed by administration officials to reporters after Plame's husband criticized the administration's case for war in Iraq. "When Bush learned otherwise," he said, "he hit the roof."
Two more quick hits: Bush has no lofty aspirations to help the world after his term is done:
He told Draper he could see himself shuttling between Dallas and Crawford. Noting that he ran into former president Bill Clinton at the United Nations last year, Bush added, "Six years from now, you're not going to see me hanging out in the lobby of the U.N."
And the last line of the NY Times article on the book:
“Sixty-two is really young,” Mr. Bush said, “and yet I’ll be through with my presidency.”
Thank goodness. Not a moment too soon.
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