ONTD Political

It's funny cause it's true.

9:32 pm - 09/20/2009
More excerpts from Bush speechwriter.

Speechwriter Matt Latimer's new book trains its gaze on the lunacy of the late-era Bush White House. And there was plenty of material.

Latimer, who first wrote speeches and congressional testimony for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, was one of Bush's top speechwriters at the end of his administration. He has written a tell-all that has some former administration officials furious at his disloyalty and others chuckling at the foibles he's made public.

Disclosure: Latimer's bookis officially embargoed until Tuesday. I read it in manuscript form months ago and blurbed it on the back of the book, saying good things about it. But the following nuggets don't come from the manuscript -- they're from a copy I purchased from a stack at Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Washington, D.C.

Some of the best moments relating to the financial crisis -- one of the many real world consequences of the shenanigans Latimer describes -- have been excerpted in GQ already. But the book is still rich with pearls for political junkies and anybody else looking for wondering what the Bush administration looked like from the inside.

Some of the best stuff:

Donald Rumsfeld had to be talked out of editing his own entry on Wikipedia, which he referred to as "Wika-wakka." He was a Drudge Report reader and used to watch YouTube clips that made fun of his press conference performances.

• Bush, when told that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig had been the latest GOPer to be caught in a sex scandal involving boys or men: "What is up with all these Republicans?"

• Several years after Colin Powell left as Secretary of State, he was to appear with administration officials at an event. "In the next draft can you change 'Secretary Powell' to 'General Powell'? He prefers to go by 'General' instead of 'Secretary'," read a note from his people to Latimer, who thought it looked like the general was trying to distance himself from the White House. "I'm happy to report that the president didn't accommodate him. 'Secretary Powell' stayed in," Latimer writes.

While Karl Rove was appearing on Fox News and writing op-eds as an independent political analyst, he was privately smearing Democrats. "Karl spread rumors through the White House that one of Obama's potential vice presidential running mates -- and a United States senator -- had beaten his first wife. 'Karl says it's true,' the president assured a small group of staffers. Then knowing Karl, he quickly added, 'Karl hopes it's true," reports Latimer.

• For a commencement address at Furman University in spring 2008, Ed Gillespie wanted to insert a few lines condemning gay marriage. Bush called the speech too "condemnatory" and said, "I'm not going to tell some gay kid in the audience that he can't get married." (Of course, Bush ran his 2004 campaign telling that kid just that.)

• Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "adamantly opposed" any reference to jailed Egyptian dissident Ayman Nour when Bush traveled to Egypt to promote freedom. She won.

• Bush, it turns out, is like millions of Americans: "I haven't watched the nightly news one night since I've been president," he said.

Laura Bush, says Latimer, "was secretly a Democrat for all intents and purposes, though it really wasn't much of a secret."

• Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is fond of sending angry, middle-of-the-night e-mails to staffers because she's frustrated that her colleague and rival Olympia Snowe gets more and better press. As a result, reports Latimer, she rips through press secretaries like 30-packs at a beer-pong tournament. (A Collins press secretary didn't respond to a request for comment.)


• Interviewing for the job, Latimer was told by Chief of Staff Josh Bolten that Bush's White House was "the most ethical administration in history." He added: "Looks like even Scooter Libby might get off."

• Latimer was asked to help with a speech for Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, who General Tommy Franks famously called "the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth." Feith had rejected a draft from another writer. "His own writer had failed miserably at drafting some upcoming testimony to Congress. Feith was so incensed by the speech's first line that he read it aloud to me. 'Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting me to testify today.' ''Thank you'? Feith snapped, as if he couldn't believe it. ''For inviting me'?'"

Bush on Jimmy Carter: "If I'm ever eighty-two years old and acting like that have someone put me away."


Source

i'm def. buying it.


edit: More @ GQ
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gretchystretchy 21st-Sep-2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Hot damn. I don't even care if some of this is embellished/made up - it's going to be so fucking entertaining.
arthurclennam 21st-Sep-2009 04:38 am (UTC)
I need my hands on this book now.

Edited at 2009-09-21 04:41 am (UTC)
piepiracy314 oh MAN.21st-Sep-2009 04:39 am (UTC)
thebigbadbutch Re: oh MAN.21st-Sep-2009 04:52 am (UTC)
Right so I can never remember that chicks name but am I the only one that really wants to see her have goofy nerd sex with Rachel Maddow?
randomneses 21st-Sep-2009 04:42 am (UTC)
Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Washington, D.C.

I was there last night for the first time with my friend. Bought Brideshead Revisited and a Nancy Drew mad libs. It was very cool in there!
lone_concertina 21st-Sep-2009 05:03 am (UTC)
Stay for dessert next time. Their peanut butter pie is to die for omg.
sunoftheskye OT but lol @ Dana Delany awkwardly trying to defend Wolf Blitzer21st-Sep-2009 04:44 am (UTC)
thebigbadbutch Re: OT but lol @ Dana Delany awkwardly trying to defend Wolf Blitzer21st-Sep-2009 04:55 am (UTC)
I have no idea who any of those people are. The only person that should ever be interviewed about celebrity jeopardy is Sean Connery.
bluetooth16 21st-Sep-2009 04:47 am (UTC)
randomneses 21st-Sep-2009 05:04 am (UTC)
Lolz his face.
wabash 21st-Sep-2009 04:48 am (UTC)
I started laughing at "Wika-wakka" and couldn't stop. This book is going to be a hoot!
evilgmbethy 21st-Sep-2009 06:57 am (UTC)
lol, yeah, if true Donald Rumsfeld is much like my gramps.
erunamiryene 21st-Sep-2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Bush's White House was "the most ethical administration in history"

Um ... do ANY of the people connected with that administration even know what "ethical" means? XD

And I'm SO buying this.
browneyedguuurl 21st-Sep-2009 05:07 am (UTC)
They should look it up on "Wika-wakka".
schexyschteve 21st-Sep-2009 04:50 am (UTC)
I think I need this book. This sounds amazing.
1sugarplumfairy 21st-Sep-2009 04:53 am (UTC)
DO WANT!
layweed 21st-Sep-2009 04:57 am (UTC)
LOL Popcorn worthy quotes.
_meathook 21st-Sep-2009 04:59 am (UTC)
Donald Rumsfeld had to be talked out of editing his own entry on Wikipedia, which he referred to as "Wika-wakka."

meimur 21st-Sep-2009 05:02 am (UTC)
WAKKA-WAKKA!
escherichiacola 21st-Sep-2009 05:01 am (UTC)
The disgruntled tell-all books are my favorite part of presidencies.
lone_concertina 21st-Sep-2009 05:04 am (UTC)
I can't wait to read this.
timeasmymeasure 21st-Sep-2009 08:54 am (UTC)
I'm sorry for the oddity of this, but your icon is incredibly distracting.

Is that Joe and a...dancing cucumber?!?

*hypnotized*
rhoux 21st-Sep-2009 05:07 am (UTC)
Latimer was told by Chief of Staff Josh Bolten that Bush's White House was "the most ethical administration in history."

Oh that's funny because I thought the Bush administration invaded Iraq.
lone_concertina 21st-Sep-2009 05:07 am (UTC)
Yes but they invaded ethically.
greenconverses 21st-Sep-2009 05:12 am (UTC)
Bush, when told that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig had been the latest GOPer to be caught in a sex scandal involving boys or men: "What is up with all these Republicans?"

LMAO. This book is going to be awesome.
ayarane 21st-Sep-2009 05:15 am (UTC)
I always knew the Bush Administration was a circus... XD
rhoux 21st-Sep-2009 05:15 am (UTC)
Did anyone else think of Pacman when they read "Wika-Wakka"?

I SURE DID.
fruhlings 21st-Sep-2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
lol, me too!
filbypott 21st-Sep-2009 05:16 am (UTC)
Karl spread rumors through the White House that one of Obama's potential vice presidential running mates -- and a United States senator -- had beaten his first wife.

Who, Chris Dodd?

Laura Bush, says Latimer, "was secretly a Democrat for all intents and purposes, though it really wasn't much of a secret."

Yeah, it's really no surprise. The woman went on CNN and said she was pro-choice, ferchrissakes.

Interviewing for the job, Latimer was told by Chief of Staff Josh Bolten that Bush's White House was "the most ethical administration in history."

For a given definition of "ethical", perhaps.
ex_memento 21st-Sep-2009 05:22 am (UTC)
This made me cringe a bit because it really is so telling:

• Several years after Colin Powell left as Secretary of State, he was to appear with administration officials at an event. "In the next draft can you change 'Secretary Powell' to 'General Powell'? He prefers to go by 'General' instead of 'Secretary'," read a note from his people to Latimer, who thought it looked like the general was trying to distance himself from the White House. "I'm happy to report that the president didn't accommodate him. 'Secretary Powell' stayed in," Latimer writes.
salienne 21st-Sep-2009 05:27 am (UTC)
This will be hilarious.
lizzy_someone 21st-Sep-2009 05:29 am (UTC)
Bush called the speech too "condemnatory" and said, "I'm not going to tell some gay kid in the audience that he can't get married."

I just... don't know whether to cry for sadness or happiness or rage or...absurdity or stupidity or whatever the hell, but this just, seriously. idek.
trojanchick99 21st-Sep-2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
I'm wondering if maybe he isn't against gay marriage but like almost all politicians couldn't come out an say it?

If so, that makes me like him a tiny bit more.
curseangel 21st-Sep-2009 05:56 am (UTC)
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is fond of sending angry, middle-of-the-night e-mails to staffers because she's frustrated that her colleague and rival Olympia Snowe gets more and better press. As a result, reports Latimer, she rips through press secretaries like 30-packs at a beer-pong tournament.

I LOL'd so hard. SO. HARD.

Psst, Susan Collins- Olympia Snowe gets more and better press because she doesn't suck, unlike you.

God, I hate Susan Collins. HATE.
jmintmilano 21st-Sep-2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
I don't hate her nearly as much as I hate the rest of the republicans....She is completly evil lol
evilgmbethy 21st-Sep-2009 06:59 am (UTC)
Laura Bush, says Latimer, "was secretly a Democrat for all intents and purposes, though it really wasn't much of a secret."

I have always heard this but never understood it. I have dated a Republican, but it was also one of the reasons I dumped him. And he wasn't George W. Mothafuckin' Bush. Either she's as much of a Democrat as Joe Lieberman is, or her principles don't mean a great deal to her.
kerrypolka 21st-Sep-2009 07:17 am (UTC)
Or maybe she is actually in love with him? I mean, I don't understand it, but I am not going to get outraged at anyone ~abandoning their principles~ by marrying the person they love.
misscrystal 21st-Sep-2009 07:11 am (UTC)
I always got the feeling that Laura was a seekrit Dem. Really explains that empty smile she has plastered on her face all the time.
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