Pale Wire (Popscene)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bushie


Finished New York Times reporter Frank Bruni's Bush book tonight. Bruni covered Bush during his 2000 campaign and he writes us through the Afghanistan bombing after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Unlike Bob Woodward, Bruni was forced to analyze Bush from the outside looking in. He uses his own observations and reporting as well as information garnered from a wide variety of sources (many of them unnamed) to paint a picture of our elected leader.

Bruni portrays Bush as an affable, well-meaning but often bumbling dude who, thanks to family connections and an underappreciated political savvy, ambled his way into the Oval Office. He makes much of Bush's discomfort with the formality and gravitas of politics, casting him as the jester who became king.

I liked the book. It offers a well-rounded (not to mention well-written) picture of a guy too often charicatured. To his critics he's a pampered, backward imbecile. To his supporters he's a resolute and upright populist. In reality, he's neither. I think Bruni gets us a little bit closer to understanding the man. And for that I'm grateful.

I also read Alan Moore's graphic novel League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1 sometime in the last week. It's fun in an Indiana Jones sort of way, but not all that hot.