The Chameleon President: The Curious Case of George W. Bush

By Clarke Rountree | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed

And to the C students [in Yale’s 2001 graduating class] I say, you, too,
can be President of the United States
.

—President George W. Bush1

The advocate who claims that Bush is “not the sharpest tool in the shed”
looks to the inner quality of intelligence (or the lack thereof) and
accounts for Bush the man and Bush the president through this lens.
Comedian Will Ferrell capitalized on that view when he made a video
of Bush insisting that the two million jobs lost during the beginning
of his administration were good for the economy because unemployed
people were at home watching television reruns and viewing commer-
cials, leading to “more ad revenue.” This is perhaps the most popular
construction of Bush. Below I give voice to one who takes this as Bush’s
defining characteristic
.

The most obvious and convincing account of the eight years of bumbling, missteps, mistakes, debacles, gaffes, and failures of the Bush presidency is to recognize that George W. Bush just isn’t very bright. And if this man at the top, this commander in chief, this chief diplomat of the United States, this “decider” isn’t that bright, then we should expect that his decisions, policies, administrative appointments, plans, and actions suffered from his want of intelligence.

-1-

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The Chameleon President: The Curious Case of George W. Bush
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Chapter 1 - Not the Sharpest Tool in the Shed 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Callow Frat Boy 21
  • Chapter 3 - The Born-Again President 43
  • Chapter 4 - The Conservative Texan 67
  • Chapter 5 - The Man Who Would Be King 81
  • Chapter 6 - The Incredible Oedipal Bush 101
  • Chapter 7 - The Corporate Crony 121
  • Chapter 8 - The Evil President 145
  • Chapter 9 - Cheney’s Puppet 175
  • Chapter 10 - The Victim of Circumstances 201
  • Chapter 11 - The Far-Seeing Patriot 219
  • Conclusion - Would the Real George W. Bush Please Stand Up? 235
  • Notes 241
  • Index 275
  • About the Author 288
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