Sun Feb 20, 2005 20:43


Author: Bush Tapes Not Meant for Public
ABC News - 8 hours ago
... "Do you want your little kid, to say, 'Hey daddy, President Bush tried marijuana; I think I will?'" said Bush on the tapes. "That's ...
Secret Bush tapes reveal insights Kansas City Star (subscription)
The Bush Tapes
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New York Times Tapes Confirm President Bush Smoked Pot; No Word ...
Nashua Advocate - 2 hours ago
... recorded by the President's [minister] friend and confidant, Doug Wead--which tape has been authenticated by an expert hired by the New York Times--Bush is a ...



Technically, how and when did John Negroponte become a United States Citizen?


Unplugged: Inside the President's mind
Times of India, India - 31 minutes ago
WASHINGTON: As George W Bush was first moving onto the national political stage, he often turned for advice to an old friend, who secretly taped some of their ...

Unplugged: Inside the President's mind

[ MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2005 02:10:12 AM ]
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WASHINGTON: As George W Bush was first moving onto the national political stage, he often turned for advice to an old friend, who secretly taped some of their private conversations, creating a rare record of the future president as a politician and a personality.

In the last several weeks, that friend, Doug Wead, an author and ex-aide to Bush's father, disclosed the tapes' existence to a reporter and played about a dozen of them.

Variously earnest, confident or prickly in those conversations, Bush weighs the political risks and benefits of his religious faith, discusses campaign strategy and comments on rivals. John McCain 'will wear thin,' he predicted.

John Ashcroft, he confided, would be a 'very good Supreme Court pick' or a 'fabulous' vice president. And in exchanges about his handling of questions from the news media about his past, Bush appears to have acknowledged trying marijuana.

Wead said he recorded the conversations because he viewed Bush as a historic figure, but he said he knew that Bush might regard his actions as a betrayal. As the author of a new book about presidential childhoods, Wead could benefit from any publicity, but he said it was not a motive in disclosing the tapes.

The White House did not dispute the authenticity of the tapes or respond to their contents. Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, said, "The governor was having casual conversations with someone he believed was his friend."

Asked about drug use, Duffy said, "That has been asked and answered so many times there is nothing more to add."

The conversations Wead played offer insights into Bush's thinking from the time he was weighing a run for president in 1998 to shortly before he accepted the Republican nomination in 2000. Wead had been a liaison to evangelical Protestants for the president's father, and the intersection of religion and politics is a recurring theme in the talks.

Preparing to meet Christian leaders in September 1998, Bush told Wead, "As you said, there are some code words. There are some proper ways to say things, and some improper ways." He added, "I am going to say that I've accepted Christ into my life. And that's a true statement."

But Bush also repeatedly worried that prominent evangelical Christians would not like his refusal 'to kick gays'. At the same time, he was wary of unnerving secular voters by meeting publicly the evangelical leaders. When he thought his aides had agreed to such a meeting, Bush complained to Karl Rove, his political strategist, "What the hell is this about?"

Bush, who has acknowledged a drinking problem years ago, told Wead on the tapes that he could withstand scrutiny of his past. He said it involved nothing more than 'just, you know, wild behaviour'. He worried, though, that allegations of cocaine use would surface in the campaign, and he blamed his opponents for stirring rumours.

"If nobody shows up, there's no story," he told Wead, "and if somebody shows up, it is going to be made up." But when Wead said that Bush had in the past publicly denied using cocaine, Bush replied, "I haven't denied anything."

He refused to answer reporters' questions about his past behaviour, he said, even though it might cost him the election. Defending his approach, Bush said: "I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because, I don't want some little kid doing what I tried."

NYT News Service


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Bush in Europe to Talk Security with Allies
Voice of America - 3 hours ago
President Bush is in Brussels for talks with NATO and European Union leaders, and bilateral meetings with some of the toughest critics of his decision to invade Iraq.
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