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Posts tagged ‘Bush’

Vanity Fair: George W Bush Emerges as ‘Hipster Icon’.

Former President George W. Bush is in the middle of a comeback — not in politics, but among hipsters who are coming to regard him as an icon.

It’s a turnaround from the time when The New York Times feared that his using an iPod would make the Apple device “uncool,” reports Vanity Fair, but hipsters are seeing him more these days as the man who paints, posts pictures through Instagram, and loves cats rather than as the man who was the nation’s two-term leader.

And as Bush’s Internet image gets more viral, younger people are judging him less on his decisions concerning Hurricane Katrina and the search for weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and more about being a “cool” and artsy older gentleman.

It also doesn’t hurt Bush’s emerging hip Internet image when he does things like writing a letter to University of Alabama kicker Cade Foster, faced criticism and death threats after his team lost to rival Auburn in November, eliminating their chances at a national title.

Bush’s letter, in which he wrote “Dear Cade (#43), Life has its setbacks. I know! However you will be a stronger human with time. I wish you all the best” has gone viral since last Wednesday, reports CNN, after Foster posted it online.

Bush’s online image is also being boosted as well through decidedly un-presidential appearances such as a photograph of himself and his granddaughter posted on his The one-time “leader of the free world” looks much like any other with-it grandfather, wearing a backwards ball cap and baggy sweatshirt while gazing delightedly at his daughter Jenna’s first-born.

And then there’s Bush’s painting hobby. After a hacker got access to his sister Dorothy’s email account and released photos of two of Bush’s painted self-portraits, the art world — a meter of hipster respect — offered flowery praise of his work.

He’s also released several new batches of his paintings, ranging from dogs and sunsets to a portrait of entertainer Jay Leno. This has led to websites such as the Huffington Post, which used to vilify the president and insult his intelligence, suddenly starting to embrace him as an artist instead.

And as Bush’s Internet fame grows, so-called hipsters and others who decree what is cool are getting younger and forgetting about Bush’s past as a president and becoming more interested in which celebrity he’ll paint next.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Book Punctures Myth That Bush Never Doubted Iraq Policies.

Image: Book Punctures Myth That Bush Never Doubted Iraq Policies

By Elliot Jager

“Days of Fire,” a new book by White House reporter Peter Baker about the George W. Bush presidency, focuses heavily on the relationship between Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, describing Bush as at times profoundly depressed over failures in Iraq, The Economist reported.

Describing the book as “the best account yet of a failed presidency,” the magazine reports that during his last days in the White House, Bush asked several historians for advice on writing his memoirs. They were surprised first by his overall serenity, then by his defensiveness when it came to discussing Cheney.

Bush became despondent — almost clinically depressed — at times during the Iraq war, even responding numbly when given the good news that a senior al-Qaida figure had been killed, Baker writes.

Baker depicts Bush as sometimes maddeningly passive, failing to press aides on specifics and policy alternatives. He could be obstinate about re-evaluating decisions in the face of new evidence, out of fear of being perceived irresolute.

While publicly the president sounded certain of his course in Iraq, privately doubts infected internal debate.

Baker writes: “Bush was not one given to reflection, at least not out loud. Yet one day,” in 2008, “he seemed in a rare introspective mood. Sitting in the Situation Room while waiting for another meeting to begin, the president looked at Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, who had succeeded Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and harked back to the critical days in 2003 before he launched the war that had become so problematic.

“‘You know,’ he recalled, ‘when I made the decision on Iraq, I went around the room to everybody at that table, every principal. You in? Any doubts? Nothing from anybody.’

“For Bush, it was a rare moment of doubt. Was he ruing his own flawed judgment? Bitter that he had been led off track by advisers? Or both?”

Still, Baker portrays the former president as more pragmatic than critics credit him.
“In the view of several officials,” according to the Economist, “Bush’s inner certainties were tempered by his biography. They see in him a former drinker’s faith in redemption and second chances.”

Baker shows an eight-year progression of mutual disillusionment, as Bush and Cheney “found their assumptions buffeted by reality, and reacted very differently.”

By 2007, for example, Cheney was pushing for the U.S. to bomb Syria’s nuclear reactor, while Bush was adamantly opposed. (The facility was ultimately was destroyed by the Israelis.) They also fell out over Bush’s refusal to pardon Cheney’s top aide, Scooter Libby, who had been convicted of perjury.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

George W. Bush: Why Iran Can’t Be Trusted.


President George W. Bush
From left to right, Conference of Presidents Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein, former U.S. President George W. Bush, Conference of Presidents Chairman Robert G. Sugarman, and Conference of Presidents former Chairman Melvin Salberg at the 50th anniversary tribute gala for the Conference of Presidents on Tuesday in New York. (©Michael Priest Photography)

Former U.S. President George W. Bush made a surprise appearance at the 50th anniversary tribute gala of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Tuesday in New York, saying Iran cannot be trusted when it says its nuclear program has peaceful intentions.

One attendee of the event, speaking anonymously because Bush’s comments were off the record, said Bush quoted from his May 2008 speech to the Israeli Knesset. In that speech—one that on Tuesday he called a highlight of his presidency—Bush said America stands with Israel “in firmly opposing Iran’snuclear weapons ambitions.”

“Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations,” Bush told the Knesset in 2008. “For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”

Tevi Troy, who served as White House liaison to the Jewish community as well as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Bush’s administration, told that Bush’s appearance at the Conference of Presidents event was “enormously important” because Bush does not appear in public very frequently and has intentionally taken a low profile since leaving office. In particular, Bush takes a low profile “on political issues of the day,” Troy said, but broke that mold with Tuesday’s comments on Iran.

“The fact that he would go to that kind of event and also talk about the danger of Iran, which many people said was unfinished business from his administration, for understandable reasons given the economic collapse and the overstretch in Afghanistan and Iraq … the fact that he would go and weigh in on that issue I think is extremely significant and worth noting,” Troy said.

Bush also spoke about his relationship with the Conference of Presidents, the umbrella organization for more than 50 national Jewish groups. According to an attendee, Bush said the umbrella organization’s voice is extremely well informed and helpful and clearly respects the office of the U.S. president.

Israel is America’s best friend in the Middle East, said Bush, who entered the room to a prolonged applause from an audience previously unaware that he would appear. He further said the defense of Israel is not only an American value but in America’s strategic interest.

“[Bush] has long had very positive feelings toward the state of Israel and been a strong supporter of the security of the state of Israel, and this was really highlighted in the period after 9/11, when the intifada was also going on in Israel,” Troy told “He recognized that Israel’s struggle and America’s struggle were the same, and that Israel’s enemies and America’s enemies can overlap as well.”

The former president said he misses only three things from his time in Washington, D.C.: not having to stop at stop lights, getting to salute men and women in uniform, and retired U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman, a vice presidential candidate who was the most prominent Sabbath observer on Capitol Hill, was in the room to hear Bush’s compliment, as he had just presented an award to former Conference of Presidents Chairman James S. Tisch.

Bush also said it is not beneficial for the U.S. to have a past president “bloviating” while the current president is trying to run the country.

The Conference of Presidents event honored Malcolm Hoenlein, the umbrella organization’s executive vice chairman since 1986. Bush joked that Hoenlein, unlike U.S. presidents, has no term limits.

Alan Solow, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents, told regarding Bush’s appearance, “I was delighted that he joined us at this event.”

The gala also included an opening video message from U.S. President Barack Obama. Hoenlein said the fact that remarks from both Obama and Bush were featured demonstrates the Conference of Presidents’ objective of “unity, with diversity.” Unity is “the essence” of what the Jewish umbrella is trying to accomplish, while also building respect for diversity, he explained.

“We brought all kinds of people from different points of view [to the gala],” Hoenlein told

“It was really an amazing demonstration both for the [Jewish] community’s political maturity and the importance of the community, and its sense of reach,” he added.



Jeb Bush and Son Take Opposing Views of Ted Cruz.

Image: Jeb Bush and Son Take Opposing Views of Ted Cruz

By Elliot Jager

Former Florida governor and potential 2016 Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, and his son George Prescott Bush, who is running to be Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, have staked out opposing stances over the government shutdown and the tactics pursued by Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX.

With Cruz plainly the intended recipient, the elder Bush told ABC News: “Have a little bit of self-restraint. It might actually be a politically better approach to see [Obamacare‘s] massive dysfunction. But we don’t even hear about that because we’ve stepped on that message. And I think Republicans need to just take a step back and allow – show a little self-restraint and let this happen a little more organically,” BuzzFeed reported.

During the shutdown, he referred to the tactics pursued by Cruz and the Tea Party faction as “embarrassing.”

In contrast, George P. Bush lauded Cruz’s campaign to defund Obamacare. “It’s a monstrosity of a law,” he said. “In terms of defunding it, that would be one way to reduce and mitigate the impact it’s going to have on practicing physicians and hospitals here in Texas,” The Dallas News  quoted him as saying.

Speaking at a campaign appearance – he is running unopposed for the Republican nomination – the Houston-born 37-year-old George P. Bush said he also agreed with Cruz on keeping Texas “out of the program unless we can modify it to a Texas-specific solution.”

The younger Bush graduated from the University of Texas with a law degree after returning from Florida where he lived while his father was governor. He served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan with U.S. Naval Intelligence in 2010.

The senior Bush said the best way to defeat the president’s signature healthcare plan would be to “have an alternative” based on free market principles. Republicans lost political ground with their tactics of pursuing defunding – “something that couldn’t be achieved,” he told ABC.

The former Florida governor also disparaged how Washington Republicans handled the debt ceiling crisis which he said left the United States looking “untrustworthy” overseas.

Taking another indirect swipe at Cruz – and an open one at Obama – the senior Bush decried Washington’s lack of civility and the failure to search for common ground. Jeb Bush said a “void of leadership is making it harder to get to a better place.”

Former President George W. Bush has encouraged his brother Jeb and grandson George P. in their respective political careers, The Houston Chronicle reported.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Jeb Bush to Ted Cruz: Have Self-Restraint in Obamacare Fight.

Image: Jeb Bush to Ted Cruz: Have Self-Restraint in Obamacare Fight

By Greg Richter

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has a word of advice for fellow Republican Ted Cruz: Show some self-restraint in the fight against Obamacare.

“I think the best way to repeal Obamacare is to have an alternative,” Bush told ABC’s Jonathan Karl in an interview aired Sunday on “This Week.”

Urgent: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?
“We could do this in a much lower cost with improved quality based on our principles, free market principles … [and] show how Obamacare, flawed to its core, doesn’t work,” Bush said.

Bush urged Cruz, a freshman senator from Texas, to “have a little bit of self-restraint.”

Cruz led the effort to tie defunding of the Affordable Care Act to a continuing budget resolution. He failed to rally mainstream Republicans to the cause, leading to a 16-day government shutdown.Cruz has said he will not rule out anything, including another government shutdown, in his fight against Obamacare. In a CNN interview aired Sunday, Cruz called people like Bush “gray beards” who want to let Americans suffer in an effort to help the party politically.

Bush himself told ABC, “It might actually be a politically, a better approach to see the massive dysfunction.”

Both Cruz and Bush have been talked about as possible presidential contenders for 2016. Told that a recent Gallup poll showing 60 percent of Americans would like to see a third party, Bush said those feelings would not affect his decision to run.

But, he added, “It deeply disturbs me as an American that loves my country that we have this dysfunction. And it troubles me.”

Urgent: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Newsmax/Zogby Poll: Politics, Gender Split Voters Among GOP Candidates.

A closer look at the new Newsmax/Zogby poll reveals some intriguing allegiances among various demographic groups.

Respondents were asked who they would vote for if the Republican primary were held today, and they could choose from a list of 21 potential GOP candidates.

The poll results, released on Thursday, 
show New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie the overall leader with 11.4 percent of the votes, just ahead of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 11.2 percent, and Sen. Rand Paul, with 10.1 percent.

But among those respondents who consider themselves Libertarians, Sen. Rand Paul is the leader by a wide margin, garnering 32.6 percent of the votes.

Fiscal conservatives prefer Bush, giving him 14.8 percent, while those who consider themselves members of the Tea Party favor former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She got 19.9 percent of their votes. Social conservatives opt for Christie, giving him 15.8 percent of their votes.

Interestingly, respondents who live in the West give the largest percentage of their votes, 13.3 percent, to Sen. Ted Cruz, who represents Texas.

Not surprisingly, Christie leads in the East, Bush is the leader in the South, and Christie gets the most votes in the Central/Great Lakes region.

Residents of large cities favor Palin, with 10.3 percent, while rural voters prefer Bush, with 13.8 percent.

Bush leads among voters at both ends of the income spectrum. Among those earning less than $25,000 a year, he gets 15.1 percent of the vote, and among respondents with income over $150,000, he gets 23.7 percent.

Among income groups ranging from $50,000 to $150,000, Christie is No. 1, while those earning $35,000 to $50,000 give the most votes to Paul.

Veterans of the armed forces favor Cruz, with 12.4 percent, and give Bush just 5.3 percent. Palin gets 10 percent, and Christie garners 9.6 percent.

All ages groups give the most votes to Christie with the exception of those 18 to 29, who staunchly support Bush and give him 18.2 percent, far ahead of Christie’s 4 percent.

NRA members give Bush more than twice as many votes as Christie. Bush gets 26.4 percent of their votes, compared to 10 percent for Christie.

Christie leads among male voters with 14.9 percent, but he finishes no higher than a tie for third among females with 7.9 percent of their votes.

Married respondents give the most votes to Christie, 11.8 percent, but singles overwhelmingly prefer Bush, giving him 22.4 percent to Christie’s 12.2 percent.

Respondents who say they are Born Again Christians favor Rand Paul, giving him 15.7 percent, while Rep. Paul Ryan finishes second with 13.1 percent.

Those who attend religious services more than once a week give the most votes to former Sen. Rick Santorum, 15.7 percent, while those who never attend favor Bush with 12.9 percent.

GOP strategists might take note of the results when the Newsmax/Zogby poll asked respondents to name the two candidates they would never vote for. Among Tea Party respondents, Bush got the most votes, 19.7 percent, and overall frontrunner Christie was right behind with 18.8 percent.

A solid 86.1 percent of all respondents say they will “definitely” or “very likely” vote in their state’s primary or caucus in 2016.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Jim Meyers

Ex-Bush Aide Matthew Dowd: Obama May Be on ‘Road to Irrelevancy’.

Unless he changes the trajectory, President Barack Obama is “on the road to irrelevancy,” says Matthew Dowd, former political consultant for President George W. Bush.

Obama finds himself in same place in the polls as Bush was after Hurricane Katrina, Dowd said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“At that point in time it was basically the beginning of the end of President Bush’s presidency,” Dowd said. Obama is a big fan of history, Dodd added, and has taken note of what happened to Bush after what many said was a botched response to the suffering in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

Obama was already defending his unpopular healthcare law when a series of scandals hit in the spring, including the IRS targeting conservative groups and the revelations of the National Security Agency spying on Americans. Added to that, since August Obama has been wrestling with a response to Syrian use of chemical weapons on civilians.

“This president is fast becoming irrelevant in Washington,” Dowd said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: Obama Could Learn from George H.W. Bush.

When it comes to considering consequences before making public statements, President Barack Obama could learn a lot from one of his predecessors, George H.W. Bush.

So says CNN host Fareed Zakaria.

“George H.W. Bush, whom President Obama has repeatedly cited as his role model for conduct of foreign policy, was very careful not to make promises or threats that you can’t carry through, and that you can’t see through to the end,” Zakaria said Wednesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Urgent: Should U.S. Strike Syria? Vote Here 

Zakaria pointed to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Bush was under pressure to call the Russians “evil” and to encourage and celebrate the activity as people began to cross the border that just days earlier would have resulted in them being shot.

“Bush was very aware that that could unleash consequences that he couldn’t control,” Zakaria said. “There were Russian troops still in Germany and Poland and Hungary. So he said nothing. He didn’t want to use fancy words that would make him feel good and seem like the right thing to say, unless he had a specific plan of action to see through not only the first day, but the second, third, and fourth day.”

The Obama administration has not followed Bush’s lead as it pushes for a “limited” military response against Syria for using chemical weapons on civilians, Zakaria said.

“There has been some tough talk, but not a clear plan of action to back that tough talk up,” he said.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

George W. Bush’s Daughter: Hillary Should Run.

Hillary Clinton has received some encouragement for a 2016 Presidential run from an unexpected source: President George W. Bush’s daughter Barbara, Politico reports.

In an upcoming interview with People magazine, the 31-year old Bush called Clinton “unbelievably accomplished” and said she wants to see the former secretary of state declare her candidacy.

Although she’s in favor of Clinton mounting a campaign, Bush did not go so far as to say she would cast a vote for her.

“I don’t know who she’d be running against,” said Bush, who is politically unaffiliated but has thrown her support behind gay marriage.

Bush’s thoughts on a potential presidential run by Clinton were a sidebar in an interview done mostly to promote her work as the CEO of the nonprofit Global Health Corps., through which she has struck up partnerships with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.

“We want results,” Bush said.

“We work with people doing great work.”

Two subjects Bush stayed away from: a possible run for the White House by her uncle, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and her dad’s recent heart surgery.

The article will appear in the Aug. 26 issue of People magazine.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Matthew Auerbach

Jeb Bush Jr.: Obama the Architect of ‘Phony’ Economic Recovery.

While President Barack Obama has declared the scandals besetting his administration “phony,” what really meets that description is the economic recovery under his watch, says Jeb Bush Jr.

A line uttered by Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen a few years ago sums up the current economy well, the youngest of the former Florida governor‘s three children writes on Politico. The “pace of the recovery will be frustratingly slow,” Yellen said.

“Despite what administration cheerleaders may say, that would be a kind description of today’s anemic growth rate,” Bush says in an article co-written with Justin Vélez-Hagan, an adjunct professor of economics in the University System of Maryland.

They note that economic growth totaled only 1.7 percent in the second quarter and 1.1 percent in the first quarter. “The real problem is that we expect these numbers to either decline or remain stagnant once the Treasury (finally) decides to stop printing money.”

Retail sales are weak, and home sales fell in June for the first time this year, Bush and Vélez-Hagan say. The labor market continues to struggle as well.

“Even if employment makes a drastic turn for the better, unemployment and household wealth is worsening for African-Americans and Hispanics, further dividing the country and increasing the oft-touted ‘wealth gap,'” they write.

Meanwhile, rising interest rates benefit overseas investors, but may hurt housing and average Americans, Bush and Vélez-Hagan state. “This is not a strategy for long-term growth.”

They offer four solutions to the problems.

“Step one: roll back Obamacare. This complicated law has done nothing but hurt employment and confuse small-business owners and investors.

“Step two: give Congress a say on executive-branch regulations that have the largest economic impact.” Bush and Vélez-Hagan favor something akin to the REINS Act, which would give Congress approval power over major regulations.

“Step three: Enact fundamental tax reform.” The duo wants a more clear tax regime that closes “unfair loopholes for the well-connected.” That would allow for the growth of businesses that hire the most workers, they say.

“Step four: Boost America’s high-skilled labor force. We need to allow more of our expert, immigrant brethren the opportunity to help us grow, and we need to teach our kids the value of STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] and entrepreneurial knowledge.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Dan Weil

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