George W. Bush’s spirited encounters
Friday, September 14, 2007
By Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Recent headlines generated by Robert Draper’s new book, “Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush,” have dealt with Karl Rove’s opposition to Dick Cheney’s selection as vice president, the Mountain-Biker-in-Chief’s exhaustion during a key Katrina briefing and his bouts of crying “on God’s shoulders” as the Iraq war faltered.

A passage that hasn’t garnered much attention — but should have — offers insight into the president’s grasp on, um, ectoplasmic issues.

In 1992, when the president’s father was running to keep his job as president, George W. Bush made regular use of the White House as a place of refuge from the responsibilities of the world — a practice that continues to this day. This is how Mr. Draper tells it:

“On this particular evening, Poppy and Bar were away for the evening. For the first time in his life, Bush had the run of the White House. The Secret Service detail gave the president’s son a few pointers on their way out the door. There’s some security downstairs. And the steward’s on call. Otherwise, he was on his own.

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