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What is the president reading?

While Obama was on NBC's Meet the Press, the President was on ABC's This Week where host George Stephanopoulos asked him what he is reading these days. Just a hint, it isn't Fiasco nor State of Denial nor Cobra II or the prade of other Iraq/Bush books that have come out in recent months. He's reading A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 by Andrew Roberts, which he must have been given early because Amazon.com says it hasn't been released yet. I guess if you are the president, you can get a copy early.

Here is the exchange from This Week:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said in your press conference last week — you joked about all the books being written…

BUSH: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

STEPHANOPOULOS: … about your administration. Have you read any of them?

BUSH: No.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not?

BUSH: You know, I don't know. I haven't read the bad ones and I haven't read the good ones. I guess it's kind of weird to be reading books about yourself when you're still trying to be the president. I really haven't.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How do you explain, though, how Bob Woodward, who…

BUSH: I didn't read the book.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I know, but he's written three books about your presidency…

BUSH: Well I didn't read any of them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: None of them, even when they were lauding you…

BUSH: George, I didn't read it. I have not read one book about me. I've read a lot of books this year, but not one about myself.

You know, I just, I feel uncomfortable reading about myself. It's hard for you to relate, I think.

But I'm still in the midst of my presidency and people are writing books about my presidency. It is so myopic in many ways.

The true history of my presidency will not be reflected until way after I'm gone.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't think there's anything to be learned from these books in real time?

BUSH: No.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What was the last book you read?

BUSH: I'm reading History of the English-Speaking Peoples from 1990 on — 1900 on. It's a great book.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What are you taking from it?

BUSH: I'm taking that — I'm taking that sometimes history gets distorted.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you have to take the long view.

BUSH: Yes, you do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Based on everything you've learned as president, which personal quality is going to be most important for the next president?

BUSH: That's a very good question. Can I name two?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Sure.

BUSH: Determination and compassion.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And what's the one (inaudible) piece of advice you have for that person, whoever it is?

BUSH: Stand on principle.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President, thanks very much.

BUSH: Good. I appreciate those last questions.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Oct 23, 2006 at 12:15 PM


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