The Bushes' reluctance to boast about their civilized side is very attractive. Yet now the president tells Bumiller that he reads 20 or 30 pages a night. He has recently read "His Excellency: George Washington" by Joseph J. Ellis and "Alexander Hamilton" by Ron Chernow. These are very dignified and restrained books. Yet he has also divulged that he reads the Bible through from beginning to end every other year. Now that should have tipped Bumiller off that Bush has an appetite for racy stuff.
The Bible is drenched in all the racy matters that Wolfe takes up, and more. It has sex. If it is not beer-drenched, it is at least wine-drenched. It also has violence, and depending on the translation, it can be in elegant English. So maybe we should not be so surprised that the president is reading Tom Wolfe.
He also admits to reading Oswald Chambers, the nineteenth century Christian thinker who brings up moral problems both deep and occasionally not-so-deep for readers to tussle with on a daily basis.
That is the president's most astounding revelation. Chambers is a learned and deeply intelligent man. He writes for ordinary people, but the president is not in the position of an ordinary person. One wonders how he applies many of Chambers' thoughts on morals to the unusual matters of politics and geopolitics that a president deals with nowadays. Ms. Bumiller, can you give the president a call?
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