Following initial teasers in the Drudge Report, former President George Bush’s memoir is showing up on news desks. The NY Times says Bush writes that he considered dropping Dick Cheney from the ticket in 2004 in favor of Senator Bill Frist as “one way to demonstrate that I was in charge.” The funny part is that it was Cheney’s idea.
They note the book indicates “Cheney clearly pushed Mr. Bush toward war” in Iraq. Cheney asked in 2002, “Are you going to take care of this guy, or not?”
He does give “a more expansive self-critique than he did while in office, expressing regrets for his slow response to Hurricane Katrina, his acquiescence to reducing troops in Iraq after the initial invasion and his decision to nominate his friend and lawyer, Harriet Miers, to the Supreme Court. He had ‘a sickening feeling’ when he learned there were no mass destruction weapons in Iraq and said ‘cutting troop levels too quickly was the most important failure of execution in the war.'”
Bush concludes: “Decades from now, I hope people will view me as a president who recognized the central challenge of our time and kept my vow to keep the country safe; who pursued my convictions without wavering but changed course when necessary; who trusted individuals to make choices in their lives; and who used America’s influence to advance freedom.”
The Washington Post has briefer excerpts, covering much of the same ground. While the NYT says they “obtained” a copy, the Post writes the book “was leaded to several new outlets in advance of its formal release next Tuesday.”