Coffee with the President

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Bob will have some more highlights coming up, but walking away from some quality time this morning with former president George W. Bush (Rich, Bob, and I were there with some other familiar conservative faces), I was overwhelmed with the same impression I’ve always had of him: There’s a peace about him. While he no longer has the burdens of the commander-in-chief weighing on his shoulders, he’s a relatively young guy who still finds ways to serve — staying engaged with military families, as we’ve seen and as he has talked about a bit in some of his interviews — and will continue to. But he’s at peace, even about things that bug him and the things he regrets (like not coming clean about his DWI, despite wanting to set a good example for his driving-age daughters). Maybe it’s the running. I think you can’t come away from the book without knowing it’s largely something called faith (as I wrote about earlier in the week here).

On every occasion I’ve spent time with the man, I just see something that not everyone in politics has but that they all sure need. You don’t have to agree with all his decisions to see that. I think part of the reason he wrote Decision Points is so the reader could get some sense of it — how one can make consequential decisions and be at peace, even as some big things remain uncertain or worse.