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Mama’s Boy

Sep
8
2005

It is often said, among Republicans who know the Bush family and are politely somewhat critical of President Bush, that he is very much like his mother: Determined and often vengeful.
In his very good and very long book on presidential candidates, “What it Takes: The Way to the White House,” Richard Ben Cramer, paints a portrait of a woman who knows how the dirty work of politics functions and who doesn’t mind throwing her weight around. Those are certainly traits this president has shown.
But so, as I said earlier this week, is callousness. And over the weekend Barbara Bush opened her mouth and all but told the Hurricane Katrina refugees to eat cake. I rarely reprint full-on accounts. But this one, from the New York Times, which also had the audio, is short and, I’m sad to say, telling.

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 – As President Bush battled criticism over the response to Hurricane Katrina, his mother declared it a success for evacuees who “were underprivileged anyway,” saying on Monday that many of the poor people she had seen while touring a Houston relocation site were faring better than before the storm hit.
“What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas,” Barbara Bush said in an interview on Monday with the radio program “Marketplace.” “Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.”
“And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” she said, “so this is working very well for them.”
Mrs. Bush toured the Astrodome complex with her husband, former President George Bush, as part of an administration campaign throughout the Gulf Coast region to counter criticism of the response to the storm. Former President Bush and former President Bill Clinton are helping raise money for the rebuilding effort.
White House officials did not respond on Tuesday to calls for comment on Mrs. Bush’s remarks.

The White House is saying the former First Lady’s remarks were “personal.” Hmmmm. Well, the personal is very often, the political.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 10:43 AM | Permalink

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