George W. Bush: I do not "long for power"

The former president admits that "fame can be very addictive"

Published June 1, 2013 2:40PM (EDT)

Weeks after the opening of a gargantuan monument to his legacy and George W. Bush's very public attempt to revise history, the former president insists that he doesn't want more fame and power, telling the the Huffington Post's Jon Ward "I don't long for [fame]. Nor do I long for power."

"Fame can become very addictive. And I've had all the fame a man could want," he said.

"I've come to realize that power can be corrosive if you've had it for too long," Bush said. "It can dim your vision. And so I came to the conclusion that, you know, I don't long for fame. And really, gonna shy away from it. Not shy away from it. Avoid it. I'm not very shy. Avoid it."

Bush has indeed been "avoiding it," by spending his time playing golf, biking with vets, and painting portraits of dogs, dogs and more dogs.

But, as Ward points out, "It was a classic Rorschach moment. Those who hate Bush will say it shows he was an arrogant president whose power went to his head and he's just realizing it. Those who love him will say it shows a self-awareness and humility for which he was never given credit."

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Bush Family Fame George W. Bush Iraq War Power Presidency