Parker: The Bush I knew

Apr 29, 2013

In a reprieve from the horror of the most recent terrorist attack, the nation’s attentions turned to the man who declared the war on terrorism, George W. Bush.

During Thursday’s dedication of his library at Southern Methodist University, nary a word was spoken about the most controversial aspect of his tenure, the Iraq invasion. All living presidents were in attendance and made only generic references to mistakes and regrets familiar to all. Of course Bush famously acknowledges no mistakes or regrets, but rather bequeaths judgment to history and self-doubt to those of lesser conviction.

This observation, though true, is not the whole story of Bush, however. Nearly everyone who has known Bush up closer than a video clip has a different impression of him than what is more popularly accepted. The arrogant, swaggering caricature of the 43rd president was mostly a shield. Bravado of the “bring ’em on” variety was more personal jab than foreign policy statement, though one suspects Bush enjoyed the sound of tiny feet scurrying to keyboards in search of deeper meaning.

Obviously, what a president says and does is fair game for criticism. The way Bush chose to express himself was the way he would be perceived and judged. To act arrogantly is to be arrogant in the public eye. To speak awkwardly is to be awkward.

But in private, Bush was a very different man.

In small groups, he was articulate and confident. When the cameras were off, he was relaxed and natural. Not everyone is made for TV, and this is no criticism. It can be a deficit for public figures, but people who are at one with lights and cameras are sometimes better actors than statesmen.

Everyone is familiar with Bush’s history and performance. What I offer is an anecdote or two that I think reveal what the cameras and critics could not. These recollections are simply recorded for the sake of biography in the interest of rounding out a more complete picture of a two-term, transformational president who changed our world in ways that won’t be fully understood or judged in our lifetimes.



Pres. GHW Bush with the support of a Democrat controlled House and Senate.

Were the Democrats "stupid" again???? LOL.

The Big Dog's back

Bullspit. The House was controlled by Repubs. The Senate was split. Quit trying to rewrite history.


So desperate to win an argument...
Keep going, keep changing, you're not right yet.


Minor error.

So it was the DEMOCRAT controlled "102nd Congress" that helped to invade Iraq during the Gulf War?

In your words: Guess that they were STUPID too. :)

Have a wonderful day Cupcake.


You are STILL wrong !
If you keep hacking away, you may eventually get it right.
You like taking words out of context. You are stuck on "STUPID".


What's funny is -- you are totally clueless about how big you've blundered.
"minor error"...LOL !!!


@ coasterfan:

"false claims"?

So the Congressional Democrats like Clinton, Kerry, et al, who had access to the same intelligence were complicit?

Selective memory?


Please stop overloading coasterfan with so many facts, he only processes rhetoric


It's public knowledge about the false information that was fed to Bush. Valerie Plame and the CIA failing to recognize the information provided by Joe Wilson but most of this was revealed while Bush was still in office. All we have witnessed from this present administration is one cover-up after the other with "NO" believable explanation. It was over 4 months before Hillary testified and She can't tell a straight story about what happened yesterday, at least She resigned. Hope nobody came up missing this time.


"It's public knowledge about the false information that was fed to Bush"
What false info? That there WEREN'T WMD's in Iraq?
No...he knew he had nothing.
It was the the false information he fed to the USA.

S w Rand 2016

Hillary Clinton to the surviving family members of American casualties in the War on Terror: "What, at this point, does it matter!?!?"

Rod Tidwell to Jerry Maguire: "You, my friend, are hanging by a very thin thread. And I DIG THAT aboutchu, JERRY!"


Does it matter that Bush lied and people died?


Since you are a bit of topic here I'll tell ya. Clinton & Obama stated their opinions prior to their elections. W threw stuff out there & some folks "bought" it. Don't forget all the chicken-hawks around him either.


Your given information and don't act-Voila-911. You recieve false information from our own CIA-You act and Your the "Bad Guy". Your warned at least twice and don't act--The Boston Bombing. Fact is that it's a tough call no matter who or what Party You belong. Pearl Harbor had massive support to go against the Japanese but many were against fighting the Germans again. We were suppose to be out of Iraq after they rebuilt? The way they are bombing it's a continuous effort. Write it off as a lost cause. Vietnam wa winnable had we really wanted to Win. You arte never going to win this war on their ground. At the very best, we need to keep them out and get them out of this country.

The Big Dog's back

cheney was in the C I A building cherry picking info. He authored the final report. FACT!


Pres. Obama at the Correspondents' Dinner 2013:

"I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college around 2 a.m."

A laugh track should be provided on all Obama speeches. :)

A formerly drug addled affirmative action president all Americans should be proud of. :)



Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.


Yea, you just changed it from chum to choom.


I'll bet you smoked.


Pres. Obama, news conference, Apr. 30:

"Maybe I should just pack up and go home."

Sounds good to me.

Ol' foot-in-mouth VP Biden as POTUS would be a load of laughs.

The Big Dog's back

Report: Bush Had More 9/11 Warnings
In an op-ed published Tuesday in The New York Times, author Kurt Eichenwald writes that the Bush administration received more warnings about terrorist plots before 9/11 than the now-infamous memo “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” Eichenwald writes that particular memo did not include a specific warning—but several others did. In May 2001, there was a warning of a terrorist operation planned by a “group presently in the United States,” and in June, a brief that called an attack “imminent.” Eichenwald writes the information “Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed."
Read it at The New York Times
September 11, 2012 11:43 AM

The Big Dog's back

APRIL 10--Under pressure from the September 11 commission, the White House today declassified and released an intelligence digest given to President George W. Bush weeks before the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The confidential President's Daily Brief (PDB) for August 6, 2001 contained a two-page section entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US," and refers to possible hijacking attempts by Osama bin Laden disciples and the existence of about 70 FBI investigations into alleged al-Qaeda cells operating within the United States.

The August 6 PDB, an excerpt from which you'll find here, was presented to Bush while he vacationed at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. The digest is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency, an official from which briefs the president on the report's contents.


No specifics.

"Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and General Richard Myers have stated that contrary to repeated claims,the CIA's PDB did not warn the President of a specific new threat but "contained historical information based on old reporting"."

Bin Laden declared war on the U.S. in '96 and again in '98.

Was Pres. Clinton sleeping on the job or was he just busy messin' with Miss Lewinsky?

The Big Dog's back

9/11 happened on 9/11/2001. No matter how you try to spin it, bush was President.


The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor happened on FDR's watch.

Should he be blamed? He was warned.

He ordered that the Pacific fleet be moved from San Diego to Pearl Harbor.


The Big Dog's back

Off topic. Again.


"Off topic" only to simple minds.

Regardless, you're a truther - those PDBs mean NOTHING to you.

AND if you blame Pres. Bush, ya MUST blame FDR.

Enjoy a nice evening in your bizzaro world.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.