Looking to the day he leaves the White House, President Bush says he'll concentrate on making speeches and running an institute that promotes democracy around the world. He also admitted that he cries "a lot" on God's shoulder.
Bush made the revelations to Robert Draper, for his book “Dead Certain,” which will be released on Tuesday.
According to the New York Times, Bush told Draper: "I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot. I’ll bet I’ve shed more tears than you can count as president" -- an implied reference to the casualties of the Iraq war. “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers [when I leave office]. I don’t know what my dad gets — it’s more than 50-75” thousand dollars a speech, and “Clinton’s making a lot of money.” “We’ll have a nice place in Dallas,” where he will be running what he called “a fantastic Freedom Institute” promoting democracy around the world. “I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch.” “Sixty-two is really young, and yet I’ll be through with my presidency.” “[Right now] I’m playing for October-November. ... To get us in a position [in Iraq] where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence” and “stay longer.” His top commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, would perhaps do a better job selling progress to the American people than he could. That he doesn't govern by staff vote, rejecting a story that that's how then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's fate was decided.
Bush shared private thoughts that appeared to reflect a level of sorrow and presidential isolation that he strongly implied he took pains to hide, saying: He likes to keep things “relatively light-hearted” around the White House. “Self-pity is the worst thing that can happen to a presidency. This is a job where you can have a lot of self-pity.”
According to the Times, Bush agreed to speak candidly with Draper after six years of lobbying. Draper told Bush that he'd write about him as “a consequential president” for history, not for the latest news cycle. He told Bush that his book could provide “the raw material” for others after him.
President George H.W. Bush in 1982 was an honorary pallbearer at the funeral of Draper’s grandfather, Leon Jaworski, a special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal.
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