I’m reluctant to differ with someone who put in such extensive and honorable toil at the White House, but, in her post below, former press secretary Dana Perino does an injustice. To wit, two items:
Item: Dana asserts that, in his new book, Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor, Matt Latimer claims “President Bush didn’t know who Sarah Palin was.” This is simply untrue. The book itself won’t be available until next week, but here’s the excerpt in question:
“I’m trying to remember if I’ve met her before [the President said]. I’m sure I must have.” His eyes twinkled, then he asked, “What is she, the governor of Guam?”
As any attentive reader would recognize, the operative word here is “twinkled.” The president was joking that he didn’t know Palin.
Item: “I don’t think he’s [that is, President Bush] ever even said the word ‘keister,’” Dana writes. “C’mon.” Again, the Latimer excerpt in question — and the italics are mine:
He [the President] always believed Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. ‘Wait till her fat keister is sitting at this desk,’ he once said (except he didn’t say “keister”).
I like Matt Latimer — as a former junior speechwriter myself, I suppose I would. I’ll grant, though, that writing about a president raises questions of judgment and tact. Soon enough, we’ll know how Matt acquits himself. In the meantime, shall we all agree to take a deep breath — and forgo judgment until we’ve read Matt’s book?