The Huffington Post has some more tidbits from Speechwriter Matt Latimer’s new book about his days working for George Bush — and what went on at the White House. Here are a few tidbits.
First the setup:
Disclosure: Latimer’s bookis officially embargoed until Tuesday. I read it in manuscript form months ago and blurbed it on the back of the book, saying good things about it. But the following nuggets don’t come from the manuscript — they’re from a copy I purchased from a stack at Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Washington, D.C.
And here are just a few from a long list in the HP post:
Donald Rumsfeld had to be talked out of editing his own entry on Wikipedia, which he referred to as “Wika-wakka.” He was a Drudge Report reader and used to watch YouTube clips that made fun of his press conference performances.
• Bush, when told that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig had been the latest GOPer to be caught in a sex scandal involving boys or men: “What is up with all these Republicans?”
• While Karl Rove was appearing on Fox News and writing op-eds as an independent political analyst, he was privately smearing Democrats. “Karl spread rumors through the White House that one of Obama’s potential vice presidential running mates — and a United States senator — had beaten his first wife. ‘Karl says it’s true,’ the president assured a small group of staffers. Then knowing Karl, he quickly added, ‘Karl hopes it’s true,” reports Latimer.
• For a commencement address at Furman University in spring 2008, Ed Gillespie wanted to insert a few lines condemning gay marriage. Bush called the speech too “condemnatory” and said, “I’m not going to tell some gay kid in the audience that he can’t get married.” (Of course, Bush ran his 2004 campaign telling that kid just that.)
• Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “adamantly opposed” any reference to jailed Egyptian dissident Ayman Nour when Bush traveled to Egypt to promote freedom. She won.
• Bush on Jimmy Carter: “If I’m ever eighty-two years old and acting like that have someone put me away.”
There are a lot more so go to the link and read it in full.by
P.S. One of the notable things coming out in the leaked portions of this book(which has been denounced by many as a “tell all” book written by someone who should have respected private conversations with a President) is that some of the material portrays a George Bush closer to the George Bush who won in 2000 — someone who many Americans would (here comes the cliche) like to have a beer with (or, rather, who would have chosen to have beer with over Al Gore).
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.