Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Raw Material About Bush

What were they expecting when the White House gave Robert Draper access to George W. Bush? A tame Bob Woodward? A Texas sycophant? A good old boy who would be influenced by the fact that the President’s father had been an honorary pallbearer at his grandfather’s funeral?

When Karen Hughes brought Draper in, the working title of his book was reassuringly positive, “The Consequential President,” not the mordant “Dead Certain” that has now been published with revelations about Bush’s attempt to blame L. Paul Bremer III for disbanding the Iraqi Army, his hope for progress there so his successor would have to “stay longer,” the First Lady’s distaste for Karl Rove and other embarrassments.

But in a White House obsessed by loyalty, it may have escaped them that Draper, although proposing to provide “raw material” for history, was an experienced journalist who might not reward access with flackery.

One sign of the Administration’s current disarray is the failure so far to get into gear to discredit Draper’s book. With Rove gone and Tony Snow on the way out, the passion to spin it all away is not what it used to be.

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