Skip to main content

The vacuous George W

With the departure of Karl Rove from the White House, it has been said that George Bush has lost his "brain". Others, less kindly, have portrayed George W as near-enough to an incoherent, bumbling incompetent. The ever-sharp and witty Clive James, opening the Melbourne Writer's Festival the other day, commented that he thought that America, somewhat surprisingly, had come a long way in electing a President whose native language wasn't English.

Now, on the cusp of George W arriving in Australia for the APEC conference, The Guardian has published a piece [now also reproduced in the Fairfax press today] in which the President was interviewed and explained himself and what he will do post retirement from the presidency. It is probably fair to say, objectively, that George W is vacuous:

"Jimmy Carter has dedicated his life after the White House to conflict resolution around the world. Presidents George Bush the elder and Bill Clinton have campaigned together on behalf of communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So how does President George Bush junior imagine spending his retirement years?

"I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch," he says. He also has big plans for making money. "I'll give some speeches, to replenish the ol' coffers," says Mr Bush, who is already estimated to be worth $20m. "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".

The insights into Mr Bush's ambitions once he steps down from the most powerful job on Earth in January 2009 are contained in a series of interviews he gave to a journalist from GQ magazine. It may be that the writer, Robert Draper, comes from Texas, like his subject, but whatever the reason, Mr Bush has chosen to be singularly open with the author and provide a rare glimpse into the inner life of a very private president."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Whatever democracy the Palestinians had is dying

Almost a desperate cry from a well-known, respected and sober moderate Palestinian.

Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was a candidate for the Palestinian presidency in 2005.

He writes in a piece "The Slow Death of Palestinian Democracy" on FP:

"Palestinian municipal elections were supposed to be held last week. Instead, they were canceled. A statement released by the Palestinian Authority claimed the cancellation was "in order to pave the way for a successful end to the siege on Gaza and for continued efforts at unity" between Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, and the government in the West Bank.

The cancellation of this election was an unjustified, unlawful, and unacceptable act. It damages democratic rights and makes a mockery of the interests of the Palestinian people.

But this is far more than an internal Palestinian issue. The only lasting peace between Isr…

Big Brother alive and well in the USA in 2007

The so-called "war on terror" has shown itself up in a multitude of manifestations. The most dangerous thing has been governments using the "excuse" of the war to restrict certain civil liberties, allowing government agencies to pursue a variety of things that they would otherwise would not - and should not - be allowed to do and gathering, and retaining, a variety of information on its citizens.

The Washington Post reports on the latest incursions into civil liberties of all Americans:

"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

The personal travel records are meant to be stored for as lo…