Archive for Wednesday, November 10, 2010

George W. Bush’s memoir well received in Texas

November 10, 2010


Former President George W. Bush signs a copy of his book “Decision Points” at a store near his Dallas home on Tuesday.

Former President George W. Bush signs a copy of his book “Decision Points” at a store near his Dallas home on Tuesday.

— Autograph-seekers descended on a Dallas shopping center Tuesday as former President George W. Bush officially kicked off the release of his new memoir, receiving praise for his candor at a hometown bookstore even as his renewed defense of waterboarding as an interrogation tactic was greeted with derision overseas.

First in line at the Borders store about a mile from Bush’s Dallas home were Terry and Tammy Jones of suburban Justin, who camped out overnight. They said when they told Bush of their wait, he said he’d sign their books “with admiration,” shaking 53-year-old Terry Jones’ hand and kissing his wife’s.

“Eighteen hours for two seconds and a kiss on the hand,” Tammy Jones, 52, said with a smile.

Terry Jones said he admired Bush because “when he makes a decision, he sticks with it.”

But such steadfastness also prompted criticism Tuesday in Europe, where reports about Bush’s memoir “Decision Points” focused on waterboarding.

‘An easy process’

In an interview in The Times of London, Bush said the tactic forced the alleged 9/11 mastermind to provide information that prevented attacks in London’s Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf business district. Prime Minister David Cameron’s office subsequently restated the British government’s belief that waterboarding is illegal. Kim Howells, a former lawmaker who chaired the House of Commons’ intelligence and security committee, expressed doubts about Bush’s claim.

In France, the Le Monde newspaper noted an “absence of regret” in Bush’s defense of waterboarding.

In a more lighthearted moment, Bush said in interview that aired Tuesday on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that writing the memoir “was an easy process.”

“A lot of people don’t think I can read, much less write,” he joked.

As in the book, Bush also recounted to Winfrey the mistakes of his presidency, saying he still feels “sick” about the fact no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. His response to Hurricane Katrina could have been quicker, he said, and he acknowledged he didn’t see the financial meltdown coming.

Bush, however, had nothing negative to say about President Barack Obama, whom Winfrey famously supported in 2008.

“I didn’t like it when people criticized me,” Bush said. “And so you’re not going to see me out there chirping away (at Obama). And I want our president to succeed. I love our country.”

Promoting his work

Largely out of the public view since he left office, Bush is now vigorously promoting his book, with planned appearances across the country this week and as the Miami Book Fair International’s featured author this weekend.

Bush even called in to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s radio program Tuesday, voicing support for an extension of his administration’s tax cuts and denying reports he privately criticized fellow Republican John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. But when asked his opinion about Arizona’s controversial immigration legislation, Bush told Limbaugh: “you’re trying to get me to make news.”

“I don’t want to make news, I want to sell books of course,” Bush said laughing.

His memoir does offer revelations though, including his confirmation that the target of a 2007 Israeli airstrike was a Syrian nuclear reactor and suggestion he quietly approved the action. Bush also reveals Israel first asked the U.S. to bomb the site, but his administration refused.

In Israel, one of the few places Bush remained popular throughout his term, media coverage of the book focused on his warm praise for ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, support for Israel’s tough crackdown on Palestinian militants in the last decade and animosity toward the late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

More than 2,000 copies of “Decision Points” sold by the time Bush left the Dallas store at 11 a.m. Tuesday, said David Drake, a spokesman for the Random House Inc. imprint Crown Publishers. The former president was able to sign copies for 1,300 customers and provided signed bookplates for 500 others, said Drake, who added that the remainder of the crowd he estimated at 2,500 received instructions for getting a bookplate later.

Holly McKnight, a legally blind 36-year-old from Arlington who visited the Dallas event, said she was thrilled the audio book — read by Bush — was available the same day as the print edition.

McKnight said she told Bush, “Thank you for all you do. You are prayed for,” as he signed her book.

“Keep it up, it works,” he responded.

Adrienne Cantwell, 57, of Coppell, stood in line with her 18-year-old daughter since Monday night. Cantwell said she and her husband both served in the Air Force and their son also has served in the military.

“He might send us to hard places, but he still cared about what happened to us and he supported us,” she said of Bush. “He gave us what we needed.”

Amber Fletcher, a 23-year-old student at Texas Women’s University, said she was eager to read the memoir.

“Everybody plays the blame game and I just want to know his side of the story,” said Fletcher, who wore a T-shirt bearing a smiling Bush giving a thumbs up and the phrase “Miss Me Yet.” She stopped to have her picture snapped with about five protesters who held signs, including one reading “Torture is illegal,” at the corner of the shopping center.


Tom Shewmon 7 years, 6 months ago

Glad to see back in circulation, President Bush. You're a class act. I wish we could say that about our current Disaster in Chief and I respect you even more for respecting the office, which has now been severely damaged and cheapened by this fraudulent radical America hater elected with America hater George Soros' money and his front groups.

"Bush, however, had nothing negative to say about President Barack Obama, whom Winfrey famously supported in 2008.

“I didn’t like it when people criticized me,” Bush said. “And so you’re not going to see me out there chirping away (at Obama). And I want our president to succeed. I love our country.”

Well, he's not succeeding at anything but handing our sovereignty to George Soros on a silver platter. President Bush; a true patriot and classy guy. God bless you President George W. Bush, two-term president in one of the toughest times our nation has ever endured.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 6 months ago

So tell me, Tom, what do you think of Bush stating in this book that he became very irritated with McCain over choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate? He states pretty emphatically that in his opinion Palin is unqualified to be president and as such was inappropriate as a running mate and continues to be unqualified. He also says he was very annoyed and upset at Dick Cheney over the "Scooter" Libby scandal. Apparently, now that he's out of office, he's pretty forthcoming with his personal opinions. Surprising that they don't tow your party line.

beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

So which Terry Jones was it, the "pastor" in Florida who wanted to burn Quarans or the member of Monty Python. Either way, we are dealing with jokers.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 6 months ago

I had to laugh out loud at the headline. Of course it was well received in Texas!

Kontum1972 7 years, 6 months ago

they knew pearl harbor was a potential target......they just took it happening "not as a serious matter."...the threat was always there

acg 7 years, 6 months ago

Now that the idiots have received the book, someone needs to head down there and read it to them asap. Dubya only put in so many pictures and pop ups.

parrothead8 7 years, 6 months ago

Well received in Texas, and already 40% off at Dillons in Kansas.

troll 7 years, 6 months ago

I think a better title would have been "Decision Points or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 6 months ago

Well, shucks, he is so popular in Texas! Y'Know, Billy Bob Jones and Sally Sue Smith (of the Fort Worth "Smiths") were just so proud that little ole Georgie had been lucky enough to find a team of ghost writers that could create to his likin'. Great job, mr shrub, yer publican pals will just be so happy and content with yer life's work!!!!

50YearResident 7 years, 6 months ago

He was on Oprah last night and still lying about Iraq.

50YearResident 7 years, 6 months ago

Were you looking into the mirror when you made this post?

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 6 months ago

2B$ coconut picking adventure? You really do love the KoolAid don't you? LOL!!!!

beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm surprised nobody is discussing the high quality of the pop-ups in this book.

Sorry, had to do it.

I admire that Bush isn't just dumping on Obama like Cheney has done, and it is a good example for future ex-presidents. Good for him. He was, however, a bad president, and that doesn't matter what you think of the president who followed. Part of his problem, of course, is that once he made a decision he stuck to it -- even when logic and facts demonstrated he should change tactics. It is stunning to learn that he was clueless about the pending economic crash that we are still enduring. Stunning.

I hope he outsells Palin's book, "Going Rube."

LoveThsLife 7 years, 6 months ago

Not sure why it was so "stunning" I didn't see congress having any premonitions about it...nor did I see anyone from the Federal Reserve see it coming either

Hindsight is 20/20.

beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

There were plenty of warnings prior to the collapse. Steven Pearlstein with the Washington Post was warning of the housing bubble and pending collapse in 2007, and there were plenty of other warnings as well. He was the President of the United States -- to not have some clue as to what was happening in the market indicates someone completely detached from the affairs of state. It isn't just hindsight being 20/20, it is an indication of someone refusing to listen to warnings. Instead, he was hanging with people who were calling those making such warnings "economic girly men." Remember that?

So yes, I am stunned that Bush was so clueless when it came to the economy. He was our self-proclaimed CEO President after all.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 6 months ago

Why would a war criminal criticize the guy who decided not to prosecute him?

somedude20 7 years, 6 months ago

thought his "book" would have pop-ups, crayons, and scratch-and-sniff pictures. Is this as good of a read as "My Pet Goat"?

Class act? Maybe the last three letters of "class" describe him better!

JHOK32 7 years, 6 months ago

So now this imbicile is wanting us to pay money for his book? Unbelievable! This idiot allowed the biggest attack on U.S. soil to happen under his watch, then allowed the entire banking system & wallstreet to wreak havoc onto our economy forcing millions of Americans into poverty, losing their jobs, their homes, health insurance, etc, etc., ALSO on his watch, AND he invaded a country which had nothing to do with 911 costing taxpayers a $Trillion dollars, (& counting). I'd rather spend my money on a pile of fresh dog waste.

50YearResident 7 years, 6 months ago

Well, we do have to give him credit for #1 in the "worst president ever", poll.

pizzapete 7 years, 6 months ago

I was thinking "sorry, my bad" might have been a better title for this book.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Bea Excactly what premonitions did Barney Frank have? How about Sen Dodd? What about Charlie Rangel? All of these idiots were in charge of Fannie and Freddie. And they still haven't learned their lesson. They still want the Gov to gaurantee loans to those that can't pay them. Now that is not just dumb, it is criminally insane.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

Wasn't it Rahm Emanuel that said: "Never let a good crises go to waste?" Are you saying he learned this from Bush?

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