Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

"Decision Points": George Bush's View of His Presidency

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

"Decision Points": George Bush's View of His Presidency

Article excerpt

In his new memoir "Decision Points," George W. Bush weighs in on the Iraq war, the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, John McCain's 2008 campaign, and other episodes in his presidency.

At some point, every ex-president - usually having waited a decent political interval - gives his own version of his time in office. It's partly an attempt to frame history, partly a time to settle scores, always a way to make money by reentering the spotlight, if only briefly.

This is George W. Bush's week.

His new memoir "Decision Points" will be available in bookstores starting Tuesday. There's a round of TV interviews - Oprah Winfrey, Jay Leno, NBC's Matt Lauer, Candy Crowley on CNN, radio interviews with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, several appearances on the Fox News Channel.

Republican establishment takes on Sarah Palin

It'll be a family affair, Bush's parents, his wife Laura, and brother former Florida governor Jeb Bush will join him for some of the interviews

Some reporters have obtained copies of "Decision Points" and snippets from prerecorded interviews are being advertised, so high points already are being pored over. Among them:

Being photographed flying over the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - without landing to personally assess the damage and comfort residents - was a "huge mistake."

It made him look "detached and uncaring, no question about it," he told Lauer.

Should he drop Cheney?

Bush considered dropping Dick Cheney from the ticket in 2006 (perhaps replacing him with then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee) - an idea put forth by Cheney himself, but subsequently rejected by Bush.

Bush writes that he was "blindsided" by the infamous photos of abused prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq - which he hadn't been shown until the day they were made public on 60 Minutes II. On those nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq, he writes: "No one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn't find the weapons. …

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