With increasing attention focusing on Bush’s TANG years, when will we hear more about this?
“Well, am I running?” George W. Bush demanded to know.
I happened to be sitting in my Suburban near the south door of the state capitol, discharging a passenger, just as the governor’s silver-gray Lincoln Continental was doing the same. It was early February, well before he would announce the formation of a presidential exploratory committee, and a smidgen of suspense still lingered. I had waved at Bush as he went past, and he had swerved over to deliver the opening gambit in one of his favorite games: conversational one-upmanship. Having played it before, I knew I didn’t have a chance.
“Sure,” I said. “You’d be the wuss of all time if you didn’t.”
“But what about the rumors?” he shot back. Then, to my utter stupefaction, he proceeded to tick off everything the national press was investigating about his past: five or six of the most salacious things that could be said about anyone—including, in his own words, “I bought cocaine at my dad’s inauguration”—plus intimate gossip about his family.
As he well knew, I had already heard all of it through the media grapevine. “You missed one,” I said. “You crashed a jet while you were in the National Guard because you were drunk.”
He spread his hands. “That’s easy,” he said. “Where’s the plane?” Game over. He spun around and headed off.