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Reading a Woodward book is always a bizarre experience. It is kind of a narrative, but one based only on the people who happened to be willing to talk to him. So it skips around strangely, with lots of extraneous stuff thrown in. Prince Bandar is a big source, so all these Saudi bits appear for no reason. At the end of one chapter, Woodward reports this irrelevant item:

[Bandar] paid a farewell call on President Bush on September 8, 2005. There was no real discussion of politics or policy. Bandar gave the president a silver medallion engraved with a dove and his initials and those of his wife, Princess Haifa. In a photo with Bush, Bandar looks worn and distant.

Uh, yeah, so? This is clearly just throwing everything he had in his notebook onto the page. 

Also, per usual, Woodward’s sources are treated sympathetically. Andy Card, who gives Woodward most of his Oval Office material as far as  I can tell, is written up as some kind of hero for engineering his own removal as White House chief of staff. From what I have read, there is no acknowledgment that some of Bush’s difficulties might have been Card’s doing, which is the advantage of being a Woodward source.

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