The First Draft Of The Bush Presidency

Ken AshfordBush & Co.Leave a Comment

This Vanity Fair "oral history" is excellent.  It goes through key moments of the Bush Administration, and the story is not told through narrative, but rather, through the comments of Bush insiders.

Here, for example, are some insider comments about the time when the Bush Administration confronted (well, failed to confront) Katrina:

Dan Bartlett, White House communications director and later counselor to the president: Politically, it was the final nail in the coffin.

Matthew Dowd, Bush’s pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign: Katrina to me was the tipping point. The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn’t matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn’t matter. P.R.? It didn’t matter. Travel? It didn’t matter. I knew when Katrina—I was like, man, you know, this is it, man. We’re done.