imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Sunday, July 11, 2004
"FEARLESS" THEN & NOW
George W. Bush, with then-Gov. Bill Clements of Texas, celebrates casting the state’s vote at the 1988 GOP convention to clinch his father’s nomination for president.
With L’Fraude dominating the media these days, in advance of his Boston cotillion, I haven’t posted much on Bush. Then, again, President Bush is busy with other matters. He’s biding his time, allowing the GI Gigolo and his Breck Girl to fully introduce themselves to the public (check KerryHaters). Regardless of what the Michael Moore set believe, Bush is a master of politics, timing being one of his strengths. Allow the others to misunderestimate him at their peril; the contrast should prove to be outstanding when he begins his media campaigning in earnest. In the meantime, here is an excellent Bush primer, who he is and why.
A Future President's Rebirth
Bush, who was just over 40 when his father ran for president after two terms as vice president, served as the campaign's liaison to the GOP's conservative wing, especially the evangelicals who were emerging as a powerful force in Republican politics. And he worked closely with campaign chief Lee Atwater, who was honing a new brand of polarizing politics that did not come naturally to Bush's father.
Having seen the political potential of a growing evangelical movement, Bush is working hard to mobilize that constituency for his 2004 reelection. Having seen disloyal aides weaken his father's political position, Bush's administration has been harsh in its treatment of internal dissenters. Having seen the price his father paid for breaking his pledge not to raise taxes, Bush has kept cutting taxes when even some fellow Republicans would call it quits.
Before he turned 40, Bush was professionally rootless, wandering from work in the oil industry to an unsuccessful run for Congress and back to oil. By his own admission, he was drinking too much, and that was creating tension in his family.
But all that changed around the time he turned 40, in 1986. Bush quit drinking, renewed his Christian faith and returned to politics by plunging into his father's presidential bid.
After his father won the 1988 election, "the most terrifying words in the White House were 'W is looking for you,' "
"He was a fearless guy," said Mary Matalin. … Matalin was struck by the blunt way the young Bush shot down persistent and potentially damaging rumors during the 1988 campaign that his father had once had an affair with an aide. After the campaign tried for some time to dodge the issue, the son confronted it brashly. He called a reporter and pronounced, "The answer to the Big A question is n-o."