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Maureen Dowd's Obsession With George W. Bush

By Tuesday, 05 August 2014 02:33 PM Current | Bio | Archive

No matter what George W. Bush does, Maureen Dowd doesn't like it.

The New York Times columnist has been criticizing the former president for many, many years. Last year, back in May of 2013 she claimed that Bush in retirement "is trying to escape the shadow of the Bush presidency."

Now, on news that he is writing a book about his dad and former president, George H.W. Bush, she is lambasting him again. The publisher calls the new book a "personal biography" of his 90-year-old father, due out in November.

This past Sunday, Dowd used the news of the book to open fire, arguing that, when he was president, George W. Bush didn't consult with his father. Let's say for a second he did consult with his father regularly. Would Dowd have been happy about that?

I can only imagine her line of attack: Bush needs his father to govern. He can't make decisions on his own. The truth is that we don't really know how often Bush consulted with his father.

Dowd writes that Bush "treated the former president and foreign affairs junkie like a blankie, telling Fox News' Brit Hume that rather than advice on issues, he preferred to get phone calls from his dad saying, 'I love you, son,' or 'hang in there, son.' He never consulted with Dad, even though H.W. was the only president ever to go to war with Saddam."

But the elder Bush has stated, in response to another book about the Iraq war, that no one knows the details the private conversations they have had.

We do know that W. consulted with many of his father’s presidential advisers. And, rather than being a reckless know-it-all, as Dowd paints the picture, we do know that Bush did consult with former presidents fairly often.

Last year I attended the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library where former presidents talked of Bush’s openness and involvement with them during his presidency.

Jimmy Carter gave a surprising speech, commending Bush for promptly responding to his call urging humanitarian assistance to African nations and for helping secure the peace between North and South Sudan in 2005.

"Let me say I'm filled with admiration for you and deep gratitude for you about the great contributions you've made to the most needy people on earth." Carter told Bush that day.

Bill Clinton praised Bush for his efforts to combat AIDS in Africa, his work on global health, and even the paintings he's working on in retirement. He also noted that "a couple of times a year in his second term, George Bush would call me just to talk politics."

Clinton himself told me he had a strong and positive relationship with Bush, and that the two often consulted on domestic and global matters. So much for Dowd's fairytale that Bush "bollixed up the globe" because he "wasn't listening to his father."

Sure, Bush is open for some criticism for Iraq and Afghanistan. But here's the real truth: For more than a decade, we have had no significant terrorism on American soil, and certainly nothing again like 9/11.

Globally, we have also had relative U.S. security. We have the hard choices Bush made during his presidency to thank for that.

Obama has also had a role to play here in keeping the country safe. But it is clear this has happened because of the foundation built by Bush that Obama, despite his 2008 campaign complaints, went on to embrace and expand. But that fact doesn’t make Dowd happy either. In her recent column on Bush, she quickly segued into an attack on Obama.

"Obama defended the CIA director even though [John] Brennan blatantly lied to the Senate when he denied that the CIA had hacked into Senate Intelligence Committee computers,” Dowd writes. Brennan, as Dowd notes, played a key role on Bush’s national security team.

Nothing makes liberal Dowd happy.

But just for fun, I think Obama should start calling George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush for advice. That will drive her nuts. And we should all buy W.’s new book as soon as it is released, make it a No. 1 New York Times best-seller, and really send a message to Dowd.

Christopher Ruddy is CEO and editor of Newsmax Media Inc. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.

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This past Sunday, Maureen Dowd used the news of Bush's new book to open fire, arguing that, when he was president, George W. Bush didn't consult with his father.
bush, dowd, hw, iraq
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 02:33 PM
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