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Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W.…
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Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush

by Robert Draper

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A very well written and fair book of the Bush Presidency and the President and man. ( )
  MikeBiever | Dec 12, 2010 |
This book was published in 2007. It seemed odd to me that the author would publish the book now rather than waiting until 2009 in order to review the entire Bush presidency.

The author spent months preparing this book, which included interviews with George W. Bush. In passing, Bush had mentioned to Mr. Draper (December 2006) that he was working on finishing reading his 87th book that year. I find that a little hard to believe. First, I wasn’t aware that Bush could read let alone read eighty some books a year. That would be more than one a week. Either he is lying or he doesn’t do much about being president and so has the time to read this many books or both. I am retired and I haven’t read that many books this year.

Later in the book, it is obvious Bush doesn’t read any news magazine even if a story is related to an issue he is working. He reads books, but not news magazines. Strange?

Republican publisher Steve Forbes is to have said of George W. Bush: Bush is a nice guy but an empty suite with no philosophical underpinnings.

Rove

Karl Rove and Karen Hughes can’t stand each other.

There is a story about Rove as a teenager in 1960. He boasted to a girl that he was a strong supporter for Richard Nixon. The girl came from a Catholic family and was supporting Kennedy. When he told her that he was supporting Nixon, she knocked him to the sidewalk and smashed his nose.

Camp David

The road to Camp David is so far up in the mountains that one day Bush tried to use his cell phone to make a call and realized he couldn’t get reception. You would think that things like that would have been fixed years ago. It is fixed now.

Iraq and 911

Bush can be very funny at times. Such as the “mission accomplished” event regarding the “end of the Iraq War”. Or when he said, “I just don’t think it’s the role of the US government tell people what to do. We do it this way, so should you”.

Cheney can be funny too. “If you wait for intelligence to drive policy, you will have waited too long.”

Dick Armey tried to tell the Bush administration before the attack on Iraq this could turn into a quagmire. Cheney’s response was: “We have great information. They’re going to welcome us. It will be like the American army going through the streets of Paris. They’re sitting there ready to form a new government. The people will be so happy with their freedoms we’ll probably back ourselves out of there within a month or two”. Armey didn’t buy it. Colin Powell also raised some concerns whether this was the correct path to take.

In Jan 2006, Bush had a meeting with 13 former Secretaries of State and Defense to get “their assessment of Iraq”. Photographers came in to take pictures of Bush “consulting with these former cabinet officers”. Bush introduced the ambassador to Iraq, who spoke via video from Baghdad. Then General Casey, Rumsfield and Rice all gave presentations. After all this, there was only about 15 minutes for these former cabinet officers to speak.

When the 911 Commission interviewed both Bush and Cheney, they were expecting Bush to defer to Cheney. Instead Bush spoke 95% of the time and Cheney the remainder.

Attorney General

John Ashcroft was not Bush’s first choice for Attorney General. Bush wanted Montana governor Mac Racicot. Racicot couldn’t afford a plane ticket to the inaugural, much less four more years as a government employee. I find that odd. Bush felt Ashcroft was a problem for his presidency and asked Ashcroft to leave after Bush’s first term. Then Bush appointed Alberto Gonzales, who wasn’t anybody’s idea of a brilliant legal mind.

Rice

Rice likes to read (only non-fiction). She learned how to read sheet music at the age of three and became concert pianist by 13. She felt she would never reach a level of distinction in the music world, so she started to study Russian.

She told a close friend the reason why she is not married is that there were few African American men who could cope with a woman of her stature. (Then why doesn’t she look at white or Hispanic men?)

Social Security

Bush has always wanted to privatize social security and encourage people to save for retirement. Many of his experts in this area told Bush the Social Security trust fund would not run out until 2041 and even then we could fund 70% of what was promised. Bush ignored all this and forged ahead with his plan. His attitude seemed to be “Don’t confuse me with the facts”.

New Orleans

I am not sure any of us here in California can really comprehend all the devastation of Katrina. One church in New Orleans had over 100 members vanish and were never heard or seen again.

Bush was at Crawford Texas when the Katrina hit several states in the south. His aides told him he should go back to Washington to deal with this new situation. It was urgent he go back as quickly as possible. He did go back quickly, however not as quickly as when he had to go back to Washington to sign the bill that would keep Terri Schiavo alive.
Gays

As the governor of Texas, Bush was quoted to have said, “Let me tell you my view when I was asked about gays in my staff, I said: How do you know? Let me tell you my view about sex. It’s private. It’s not my business. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know about your sex life, and I’m not interested in you knowing mine.

Just months prior to the 2004 elections, Bush stated very firmly his position marriage is only for one man and one woman. After the elections, he barely ever spoke about it. He was content to let the issue die.

Like me

Surprisingly one area I am very much like Bush. Time. He expects people to be early for meetings and he starts every meeting on time. (Clinton often kept people waiting for an hour or so) Bush demand letters get a response within days of receiving them. (With Clinton, it might be months) ( )
  GaryMiller | Feb 2, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743277287, Hardcover)

In this ambitious work of political narrative, Robert Draper takes us inside the Bush White House and delivers an intimate portrait of a tumultuous decade and a beleaguered administration. Virtually every page of this book crackles with scenes, anecdotes, and dialogue that will surprise even long-time observers of George W. Bush.
With unprecedented access to all the key figures of this administration from six one-on-one sessions with the president, to Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Karl Rove, and perhaps 200 other players, some well-known, some not Draper has achieved what no other journalist or contemporary historian has done thus far: he has told the story of the Bush White House from the inside, with a special emphasis on how the very personality of this strong-willed president has affected the outcome of events.
Bush loyalists and the growing number of Bush detractors will all find much to savor in this riveting political page-turner. We begin with a revealing lunch at the White House where a testy, hot dog-chomping president finally unburdens himself to the inquisitive reporter, a fellow Texan who well understands the manly argot that courses through this administration.
We revisit the primaries of election-year 2000, in which the character of the candidate and indeed the future of the Republican Party were forged in the scalding South Carolina battle with Senator John McCain. We proceed forward to witness intimately the confusion and the eloquence that followed the September 11 attacks, then the feckless attempts to provide electricity to a darkened Baghdad, the high- and lowlights of the 2004 re-election bid, the startling and fruitless attempt to spend capital by overhauling the Social Security system, the inept response to Katrina, the downward spiraling and increasingly divisive war in Iraq.
Though the headlines may be familiar, the details, the utterly inside account of how events transpired will come as fresh reportage to even the most devoted followers of mainstream media coverage. In this most press-wary of administrations, Robert Draper has accomplished a small miracle: He has knocked on all on the right doors, and thus become the first author to tell a personality-driven history of the Bush years. In so doing, he allows us to witness in complete granularity the personal force of a president determined to achieve big things, who remained an optimist in the face of a sometimes harsh unpopularity, who confronted the history of his time with what can surely be described as dead certainty.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:23 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In this press-wary administration, journalist Draper has accomplished a small miracle: He has knocked on all the right doors, and thus become the first author to tell a personality-driven history of the Bush years. With access to all the key figures of this administration and perhaps 200 other players, Draper delivers an intimate portrait of a tumultuous decade and a beleaguered administration, with a special emphasis on how the very personality of this strong-willed president has affected the outcome of events. Though the headlines may be familiar, the details, the utterly inside account of how events transpired will come as fresh reportage to even the most devoted followers of mainstream media coverage. Draper allows us to witness in complete granularity the personal force of a president determined to achieve big things, who confronted the history of his time with what can surely be described as dead certainty.--From publisher description.… (more)

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