Bush: Should I run again?

A day in the life of America's least favorite former president

Published July 7, 2012 4:00PM (EDT)

        (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Benjamin Wheelock)
(AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Benjamin Wheelock)

On a Saturday afternoon in early March of this year, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, summoned several former senior advisors and prominent GOP donors to his Crawford, Texas, ranch and announced that he was considering running for president.

Mr. Bush reportedly told his inner circle that he was not considering jumping into the current presidential race but is “seriously considering the 2013 election next year.” “I thought it was just one of his usual gags,” said one source who attend the meeting. “But I knew he was serious when the delivery guy showed up with those Dogzillas from Fuddruckers. Seems like he always eats those things when he’s telling us something really important, like when he decided to appoint Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, or when he finally topped 200,000 on Donkey Kong.”

The former president reportedly has a history of making imprudent decisions when keeping his own counsel. Scott McClellan, Mr. Bush’s former press secretary, said that during the 2000 election, when the campaign was considering potential vice presidential running mates, Mr. Bush assembled his senior aides, unveiled a homemade Bush-Bush sign and announced that he’d chosen himself (longtime Bush Family retainer James Baker had to be enlisted to talk him out of it). And according to several unnamed sources, Mr. Bush, in the summer of 2006, gathered his foreign policy team for a Dogzilla lunch in the White House residence and announced that he was going to improve relations with Hugo Chavez by inviting the Venezuelan strongman to a Houston amusement park where, the president suggested, he and Mr. Chavez would ride bumper boats, pet the goats and guess each other’s weight.

As president, Mr. Bush developed a reputation for surrounding himself with aides who were unwilling to challenge his decisions; a management style that, critics say, led to the Iraq War. Several sources said that none of the advisors who attended the “Bush 2013” meeting pointed out the unconstitutionality of Mr. Bush’s plans and instead indulged the former president by asking what he’d like to accomplish in a third term.

Mr. Bush reportedly said that his top priority would be something he called a “White House Comfortablitites Initiative” and explained that he’d like to add some velvet Barcaloungers to the Family Theater, install a Q-Bert game in the Oval Office and switch the toilet paper on Air Force One from Scott Natural to Charmin Extra Soft 2-ply. Mr. Bush reportedly spent over forty minutes extolling the virtues of Charmin Extra Soft 2-ply and, after he’d finished his animated discourse, gestured enthusiastically towards a nearby bathroom and urged former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to ‘give the 2-ply a whirl.’ Aides spent the next several minutes watching the 43rd president eat his Dogzillas while waiting for Ms. Rice to return.

At the end of the meeting, former Chief of Staff Joshua Bolton gently asked Mr. Bush if he had additional, perhaps more substantial goals in mind for a third term. The former president said yes, that he’d like to re-name the state of Vermont "Dr. Evil," help Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito get re-elected and “drop a bomb on that little Chinese dude with the weird glasses and those missile things,” which aides understood as a reference to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, who died last year.

A spokesman for the former president refused to comment.

By K.M. Breay


Related Topics ------------------------------------------