If you have watched much television at all this past week you probably saw an interview with former President Bush who launched his book tour the week following the election. His book, Decision Points is flying off the shelves. It's already #1 at Amazon.com and you can purchase the book by clicking on the link in the box at right.
The former President has granted extensive interviews to news outlets and others like Oprah Winfrey. There was an excellent one hour interview Sean Hannity conducted with Bush at his ranch in Crawford (video). Hannity will follow that interview up with a one hour special on the Bush Presidency with the former president in attendance on Monday night.
But since most readers here aren't likely to have seen the interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, it's worth embedding in this post. Lauer includes many other personal reflections from President Bush that we haven't seen elsewhere:
Compare a Relaxed, Humorous Bush with "Defensive,"Prickly," "Thin Skinned" Obama
All told the Bush interviews are an excellent reminder of the man George W. Bush is and was as president. His relaxed style, indifferent to much of the harsh criticism against him, stands in start contrast with Obama who was described in news reports as "prickly," "thin skinned," and "defensive" when facing criticism of the failure of his Asian trip.
The contrast wasn't lost on Toby Harnden writing for the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph:
The Decider returns to haunt Mr Nuance as George W. Bush eclipses Barack ObamaThe one, and as yet ONLY thing Americans can thank Obama for is the rapidity with which he has shown just how wise Bush is and how much more advanced conservative ideas are than the alternative!
By Toby Harnden
Daily TelegraphNovember 13, 2010
Say what you like about former President George W. Bush, but his sense of timing is impeccable. Just after his successor Barack Obama took a self-described "shellacking" at the polls, Dubya was back, mocking the current occupant of the White House by his very presence.
For the 43rd President, the return must have been sweet.
Obama was elected in large part because he was the unBush: biracial not bluebood; silky tongue, not foot-in-mouth; reflective not impetuous; cool rather than hot.
During the 2008 election campaign, Obama slammed Bush at every turn. Since then, the 44th President has almost ceaselessly blamed his predecessor for everything, even stooping to lambast Karl Rove, Bush's long-time aide, by name during the recent mid-terms campaign.
But the anti-Bush shtick soon wore thin. Two years after Obama was anointed, the halo around his head seemed distinctly tarnished. In his post-defeat interview with 60 Minutes, Obama was at his most listless and meandering, projecting all the certainty of a Hamlet on the Potomac.
Right on cue, Bush entered, stage Right, clutching a copy of his 497-page memoir Decision Points, a tome full of breezy certainty.
Did he order the waterboarding of terrorist suspects? "Damn right."
Did he ever have doubts about pre-war intelligence on Iraq? "I really didn't." Bor[ed] of Mr Nuance, Americans lapped it up.
Bush must know, however, that his steadfast refusal to make any comment at all about Obama's presidency stands in stark contrast to the derision he has received from his successor. He is self-aware enough to realise that his pithy, confident interview answers are sharply different from Obama's wordy circumlocutions.
Who would have thought that the man hailed as a great American orator and whose stage at the 2008 Democratic convention was a faux Greek temple would be shown up in terms of the theatricality and articulation of the presidency by the man derided as a tongue-tied bumbler and global village idiot?
[P]erhaps only a performance in office as myopic, self-absorbed and hubristic as that of Obama could have brought about a Bush rehabilitation so swiftly.