George H.W. Bush scolds son’s cabinet in new memoir

In a new account of his life due out next week, former President George H.W. Bush speaks bluntly and forthrightly about two key officials who served his son, President George W. Bush, in the White House.

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, with Jon Meacham, contains sharp language to describe former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

In the profile, the former chief executive who served as the 41st president from 1989-93 refers to the former vice president as taking an “iron-ass” approach to all responsibilities and labeled the former Defense Secretary “arrogant.”

Bush’s new book advances his view the two men proved to be a disservice to his son, George W. Bush.

Designating the former Defense Secretary as “an arrogant fellow” and stating:  “I don’t like what he did, and I think it hurt the president having his iron-ass view of everything,” the elder Bush continued his verbal assaults on the chief architect of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars:

“There’s a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks. He’s more kick ass and take names, take numbers. I think he paid a price for that.”

Continuing, the former president was unable to suppress his fury, which he then directed at the former vice president:

“He had his own empire there and marched to his own drummer.  It just showed me that you cannot do it that way. The president should not have that worry.  The big mistake that was made was letting Cheney bring in kind of his own State Department.”

“He just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with.  Just iron-ass. His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East.”

Responding during an interview with NBC News, Rumsfeld averred:

“Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions.”

The former president’s biography illustrates a significant problem with crossing the line in political chronicles. 

Politicians and appointed public officials from either political party rarely concede their errors fully and publicly.  Unfortunately, this refusal often leads to rampant speculation in monographs or full-length historical records for public consumption.

Often, these records are used as instruments of retaliation, devices to rebut others or settle scores. 

While consistent with other examples of historical analysis in numerous ways, the elder Bush is seeking to rehabilitate his son’s terms in the White House by assigning blame on underlings for foreign policy decisions and two unpopular wars, both of which had some early successes.

Precis:  His son is a source of pride and the elder Bush is using his considerable prestige to promote alternatives to early assessments of George W. Bush’s White House years.

By doing so, the 41st president is squandering an opportunity to burnish his reputation with a written narrative which reveals philosophical depth, personal authenticity and, at long last, honesty from a public official. 

Unfortunately, despite a book rich in detail, this record is likely to be remembered for its criticism of two individuals instead of offering fascinating insights into his presidency and perspectives on domestic or global affairs.

It is likely this book will be embraced by the Left as a wellspring of verification to continue their vendettas against the former vice president and Pentagon master.

On the Right, Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld have their champions:  This book will simultaneously be used to portray the two men as victims of a vindictive ex-president exercising parental instinct.

Worse, the record will stir media frenzy.


[RT News] [Photo courtesy]