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

By Clarke Rountree | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
The Victim of Circumstances

Well, presidents get defined by the circumstances in which they find
themselves. I had a different set of circumstances
.

—President George W. Bush1

Sometimes it’s important not to look inside people for understanding
their motivation, but to consider external circumstances. This is particu-
larly the case when you consider the incredibly unusual circumstances
under which Bush served as president. This chapter gives voice to the
advocate who would tout those circumstances as central for explaining
Bush and his presidency
.

Americans too often fall for the myth of the hero, the person (usually a man) who rides into town, takes charge of a problem situation, and saves the day. More often than not, it is the situations that take charge of our would-be heroes, dictating their decisions and actions. That is particularly the case when one ascends to the White House and faces national and international crises that must be dealt with by mere mortals. Such was the case with George W. Bush, a victim of the circumstances of his presidency. As he told biographer Bill Sammon: “Well, presidents get defined by the circumstances in which they find themselves. I had a different set of circumstances.”2 Different indeed! They were historic, unprecedented, shocking, and overwhelming. Thus, we should not look to his personality,

-201-

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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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