Political Shorts: George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” a Bestseller, Library Ground-Breaking

  • Booming sales for Bush book ‘Decision Points’: The Decider has written a blockbuster. Random House Inc. says former President George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” sold 775,000 copies through its first week of publication. Random House made the announcement Tuesday. In the book, the two-term president discusses the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, his decisions to send troops to Afghanistan and Iraq and the response to Hurricane Katrina. An initial print run of 1.5 million copies has been increased to 1.85 million. E-book sales alone are 100,000. Random House said last week that opening-day sales of “Decision Points” were its highest since former President Bill Clinton’s “My Life” debuted in 2004…. – AP, 11-16-10
  • Bookend to a Presidency George W. Bush Breaks Ground on a Library, Museum and Policy Center in Texas: George W. Bush and 3,000 fans celebrated his return to the spotlight Tuesday during a ground-breaking ceremony at Southern Methodist University, where plans to build his presidential library have divided the campus. Mr. Bush, who left office with low approval ratings and spent two years in relative seclusion, has recently worked to burnish his image, giving interviews to Oprah Winfrey and the Today Show’s Matt Lauer to promote his book “Decision Points.”
    “Staying out of current affairs and politics does not mean staying out of policy,” Mr. Bush said to the crowd gathered under a large white tent. “I strongly believe that the principles that guided our service in public office are the right principles to lead our country in the future.” Mr. Bush said a public policy institute attached to the library would promote those principles, as well as improve free markets, global health, political freedom and education.
    Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who used a cane to climb to the dais, made a dig at the Obama administration, calling the presidential center “the only shovel-ready project in America,” drawing laughs. The president’s wife, Laura Bush, an SMU graduate, also attended, as did former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe…. – WSJ, 11-16-10
  • Bush and Cheney, Together Again at Groundbreaking: With the turn of a shovel and a few turns of phrase, former President George W. Bush culminated an elaborately orchestrated return to the public stage on Tuesday with a presidential library groundbreaking and a reunion with former Vice President Dick Cheney. In a rare public appearance since a long hospital stay earlier this year, former Vice President Dick Cheney appeared much thinner. In their first public appearance together since leaving office, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney heaped praise on each other, putting behind them the tension of their final days in the White House when they fought over the president’s refusal to pardon the vice president’s ex-chief of staff. In his new memoir, Mr. Bush wrote that he worried that the fight had fractured their friendship.
    Addressing a crowd of 2,500 supporters and Bush administration veterans, Mr. Cheney said the response to Mr. Bush’s book showed that the country had begun to re-evaluate him. “Two years after you left office, judgments are a little more measured than they were,” Mr. Cheney said. “When times have been tough or the critics have been loud, you’ve always said you had faith in history’s judgment, and history is beginning to come around.”
    Mr. Bush responded by hailing his No. 2 and recalling the decision to ask him to be the running mate in 2000. “As I stand here,” Mr. Bush said, “there is no doubt in my mind he was the right pick then, he was a great vice president of the United States and I’m proud to call him friend.”… – NYT, 11-16-10
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