In his own words, former Bush speechwriter blabs
Matt Latimer, who used to make a living writing speeches for former President George W. Bush, has decided to let loose in a book under his own name that describes the White House as more like the TV show “The Office” and less like “The West Wing.”
In excerpts of his book “Speech-Less” appearing in the October issue of GQ magazine, out on newsstands Sept. 22, Latimer says Bush had something unflattering to say about the leaders of the pack running to win the White House in last year’s election.
(We obtained, and more importantly, read all the excerpts to be published in GQ. There is some discussion about the plan to boost the economy which we leave you to read in the magazine or book).
According to Latimer, Bush believed Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee in the 2008 presidential election and quotes the former president as saying “Wait till her fat keister is sitting at this desk,” although the speechwriter-turned-book-writer says Bush didn’t say “keister” (guess he’s urging us to use our imagination).
“He didn’t think much of Barack Obama,” Latimer writes. He recalls an occasion when Bush was fuming that it was a dangerous world, and quotes the president as saying, “and this cat isn’t remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you.”
Of the Republicans running for president, Latimer opines that Bush liked Mitt Romney best and was uneasy about John McCain.
The writer recounts an incident in which Bush was to attend a McCain campaign event that suddenly was closed to the press.
“If he doesn’t want me to go, fine,” Bush is quoted as saying. “I’ve got better things to do.”
(McCain kept the unpopular Bush at arms-length during last year’s campaign).
When McCain surprised everyone with his vice presidential pick of then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Latimer says Bush called the choice “interesting” and then quotes the president as saying with eyes twinkling that he was trying to remember if he’d met her before, “What is she, the governor of Guam?”
Bush’s current spokesman had no comment on Latimer’s book.
But Bush’s former spokeswoman, Dana Perino, told Reuters that while she hadn’t read the book, “I think that most people who worked in the White House would be hard pressed to pick this guy out of a line-up.”
She adds: “He wasn’t around the president much, and some of what he says the president said doesn’t ring true to me. For example, I was there outside the Oval when Sarah Palin was announced as the VP candidate and the president said to me, ‘so, the Governor of Alaska was the pick? I just saw her a few weeks ago when we were on our way to China’.”
Perino also said she doesn’t recall Bush saying anything about anyone’s keister. “I’m not sure how people who write these books really feel about themselves. Oh well,” she says.
Photo credit: Reuters/Pool (Obama and Bush at the Capitol on inauguration day), Reuters/Brian Snyder (Bush and McCain at Kennedy’s funeral)