Elizabeth Bumiller shocks her interviewer:
DU: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about President George W. Bush, and which stereotypes are actually true?
EB: Bush is actually not stupid at all. But he was rigid in a lot of things. He was not as intellectually curious as other presidents; not especially reflective — I think that’s obvious in his recent book. He was different in Washington than he was in Texas as governor. In Texas he was known for reaching across the aisle, and working with adversaries, and that just never happened in Washington. He also got socked with 9/11, and that changed everything. I don’t think you could ever write enough on how much that completely stunned and shell-shocked him and his administration. That accounts for some of the rigidness. One on one, he was extremely personable, very easy to approach, very casual. He demanded utter loyalty from his staff, and his staff by and large was exceptionally loyal, and that was something that always stunned people.
Emphasis mine. Who knew?
The thing that I find weird is the logic in her other criticism, though: “He was different in Washington than he was in Texas as governor. In Texas he was known for reaching across the aisle, and working with adversaries, and that just never happened in Washington.”
Hmmmmmm…Bush in Austin, one thing happened. Bush in Washington, a different thing happened.
Which is it that’s more likely, that Bush magically changed when he went from Austin to Washington, or that there was something different about Austin than Washington? Like maybe the Democrats in the latter weren’t willing to be reached to across the aisle?
Besides, the charge itself is nonsense. What do you call the deal to vastly increase government involvement in education by working with Teddy Kennedy, or dramatically expanding Medicare with Democrats, if not “working across the aisle”? So she’s wrong on both the history and the logic.