Tales from the Trail

Bush daughter backs gay marriage

Former President George W. Bush’s daughter Barbara is speaking out in support of same-sex marriage.

“I’m Barbara Bush and I’m a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality and , everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us,” she says in a brief video released by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

In a break with her father, Ms. Bush, who lives in Manhattan, joins other prominent New Yorkers in calling on New York to legalize gay marriage, The New York Times reported Monday.

Human Rights Campaign said Barbara Bush’s position reflects a generational attitude, with a majority of young adults (18-34) supporting marriage for same-sex couples in New York.

She’s not the only daughter of a prominent Republican to be on the other  side of what’s been a wedge issue in U.S. politics and red meat for conservative voters.

Washington Extra — Beck, Bernanke and baseball

An “American miracle” or an “exercise in self-aggrandizement on a Napoleonic scale”?

Reuters/Chris Keane (Beck at an NRA meeting in Charlotte May 15)

 No, I am not talking about Reuters Washington Extra, but Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally which is due to take place on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. Beck, never one to hide his light under a bushel, has described tomorrow’s event as “a defibrillator to the heart of America”, “the Woodstock of the next generation”, and “the turning point” in American history. Eugene Robinson in today’s Washington Post was less optimistic about the rally and its “egomaniacal” host, who will be speaking a few steps down from where Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on the same day in 1963. Washington Extra is not taking sides.

Ben Bernanke’s speech at the Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole was considerably less dramatic than Beck’s is likely to be, but does merit a quick mention too. The Fed chairman said the economic recovery had weakened more than expected but downplayed concerns that it might slip back into recession. The Fed, he said, was ready to act if needed to spur growth and said the central bank still had ammunition left. He at least is not reaching for the defibrillator yet.

Laura Bush says every president faces unfair criticism

Former first lady Laura Bush says every president is unfairly criticized and it comes from both friends and foes.

She spoke to ABC’s “Good Morning America” from the Gulf Coast, where she is on a visit for the fifth anniversary of  Hurricane Katrina. USA/LAURABUSHHer husband, former President George W. Bush and his administration were sharply criticized for slow federal response to the disaster.

“The differences are huge now, five years later. Each time I came there was a little bit of improvement, but really now I think after five years things are starting to look great,” she said.

Michelle Obama, Laura Bush to appear together at 9/11 memorial

michelle_laura2First lady Michelle Obama and her predecessor, Laura Bush, will appear together next month in Pennsylvania at a ceremony marking the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Obama and Bush will participate in ceremonies honoring the victims of the attacks, including the 40 passengers and crew killed in the crash of United Flight 93, the National Park Foundation said in a statement on Monday.

“Their show of support honors the lives and memories of these 40 heroes and everyone we lost on September 11th, and serves as a valuable reminder of how important this memorial is to preserve and share their story,” National Park Foundation President Neil Mulholland said.

Bush book promo promises candid, gripping look at president’s life

Candid… Gripping… Shattering… are words being used to promote former President George W. Bush’s memoir “Decision Points.”

The book is due out on November 9, exactly a week after the midterm elections. But if past is prelude when it comes to newsmaker books, the details are likely to leak out earlier, possibly right around election day… BOOKS-GEORGEBUSH/

Bush writes about the contested 2000 election, the hours after the September 11 attacks, the moments before launching the Iraq war, his decisions on the financial crisis and more, the Crown Publishing online promotion says. He also writes about his “flaws and mistakes” and serves up new details about quitting drinking and his relationship with his family.

Poisoning at the G-8? Laura Bush says that was a concern in 2007

Were President George W. Bush and his entourage poisoned at a G-8 summit in Germany back in 2007?

Former first lady Laura Bush says that was a big concern at the time.

She made the comment in her new memoir, “Spoken from the Heart,” which is due to be released in early May. The New York Times and Politico obtained copies of the book.
The Group of Eight summit at Heiligendamm, Germany, came at a time when there had been several high-profile poisonings in the previous year, including one with suspected nuclear material.

“I arrived (at the summit) and began my events but by the afternoon of (June) seventh, I could barely stand up,” Laura Bush wrote in extracts published by Politico.

No. 43 slips under the radar in DC

Ole 43, otherwise known as former President George W. Bush, was in Washington today to address hundreds of people who worked for him over the years.

USA-BUSH/The whole thing was closed press and so we don’t have a complete read-out of the proceedings but suffice to say that Bush steered clear of the current volatile political climate in Washington.

This has been a consistent position of Bush. While he might chafe privately at some of the blame tossed his way by President Barack Obama, he doesn’t talk about it publicly. Having seen how tough the job is being president, he reckons Obama doesn’t need one more critic telling him how to do it.

Question of the Day: summer reading?

The Bush White House years may turn into the book wars, which one will you buy?

Former President George W. Bush is writing a book on the decisions he made while in office, working title “Decision Points,” scheduled for release next year.

Former first lady Laura Bush is writing a memoir about her life experiences, expected to be published next year.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney may provide some juicy tidbits in his memoir if it ends up criticizing (would that be book-stabbbing?) the president, it won’t be out until early 2011.

Meanwhile, in Dallas…

WASHINGTON – George W. Bush has kept a low profile since leaving the White House on Jan. 20 and moving back to Texas, but we’re starting to hear some bits and pieces of what he has been up to.

For one thing, we know that President Barack Obama phoned him on Friday to tell him most of the U.S. troops that Bush put into Iraq are going to come out over the next 18 months.

“President Bush appreciated the courtesy call from President Obama regarding the administration’s plans for Iraq,” said the former president’s spokesman, Rob Saliterman. BUSH-ARCHIVES

Bush looking forward to new domestic agenda

Former President George W. Bush says he’s got a new domestic agenda — mowing the lawn and taking out the trash.

OBAMA/He says he’s looking forward to his wife Laura’s home cooking, sort of,  and plans on relaxing Wednesday on his first morning out of the White House – making Laura coffee, skimming the newspaper, calling friends, reading a book, going fishing, and taking a walk – all before 8 a.m.

“That’s what happens when you’re a Type A personality,” he said.