Editors' note: the following is an edited version of the interview posted from HughHewitt.com.
I just concluded an interview with President Bush about his new memoir, Decision Points. It is a fascinating read, and our conversation covers some of the most interesting passages, including those about election 2000, the job of picking generals, Lincoln and Truman, his reading habits while president --Lee Childs and Tim Keller will be happy to hear they are on the president's current reading list, joining Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva there-- as well as Vladimir Putin and the problem of leaking operatives in the CIA.
I got through about a third of my questions. Perhaps he will come back after the book tour slows down.
Hugh Hewitt: President George W. Bush, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show, great to have you.
George W. Bush: How are you, Hugh?
HH: I’m great, and congratulations, four weeks atop the New York Times bestseller list for Decision Points.
GWB: Miracles never cease to happen.
HH: (laughing) In the book there are a lot of good portraits, and your funniest critic, she’s probably not your toughest critic, but your funniest, is First Lady Barbara Bush yelling at you, “Keep moving, George. There are fat people ahead of you" at the Houston marathon,” and telling you, “You can’t win,” when you ran for governor. What does First Lady Barbara Bush think of the book?GWB: She likes it a lot. She’s got a good sense of humor, and the book is riddled with anecdotes that I hope people think are funny. And I think that she thinks it accurately portrays my relationship with her. We’re very close. As I noted in the book, I have many of her characteristics, some of which got me in trouble at times, like speaking bluntly.
GWB: You know, it’s hard for me to...that’s a little too hypothetical, Hugh. You know, I was in the lead. And it was a painful experience for both of us, and sadly, it kind of set the tone for some of the debate during my presidency.
GWB: I don’t know what I would have done. What I wish hadn’t happened is, as I pointed out in the book, they hadn’t have declared Al Gore the winner in Florida before a major portion, or a significant portion of the votes had been cast in the panhandle of Florida, which is one of my stronger, stronger parts of the state. And I truly do believe that affected the size of the Florida vote.
Read the rest of the interview at HughHewitt.com.