Former U.S. President George W. Bush thinks that the Tea Party darling Sarah Palin is “unqualified” and she spoiled the Republican party”s 2008 election campaign, a friend of the former president recently said.
The 43rd U.S. President has told friends the ex-Alaska governor isn’t qualified to be President and also criticizes Arizona Sen. John McCain for putting Palin on the 2008 Republican party ticket and handing her a national platform, the NY Daily News reports.
“Naming Palin makes Bush think less of McCain as a man,” a Republican official close to Mr Bush told the New York Daily News. “He thinks McCain ran a lousy campaign with an unqualified running mate and destroyed any chance of winning by picking Palin.”
Matt Latimer, former special assistant to Mr Bush, wrote in a book released last year: “‘I’m trying to remember if I’ve met her before. I’m sure I must have.’ [Mr Bush’s] eyes twinkled, then he asked, ‘What is she, the governor of Guam?'”
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey to promote his own book, “Decision Points,” Mr Bush says about Sarah Palin in 2012: “I am not a political pundit. I’m really not. And secondly, a lot is gonna happen between now and the nominating process. I have no clue.”
The former President also appears to be picking his words carefully when it comes to Obama. His stock answer, when questioned about his successor, was: “I want my President to succeed because if my President succeeds my country succeeds, and I want my country to succeed.”
“He won’t call Obama by name but he won’t trash him,” a confidant noted, referring to Bush’s comments in post-presidency speaking appearances, which have netted him millions, often at $100,000 or more a pop.
The Daily News claimed that despite Bush’s efforts to steer clear of criticising Obama in public, he believes his successor has failed – particularly with regards to Pakistan.
“He thinks the policy is adrift,” the NY Daily News quoted another source as saying. Predictably, Bush also believes his tax cuts shouldn’t be allowed to expire, including those for the wealthiest of Americans Obama wants to deep-six.
However, George Bush lets others worry about the politics these days while he focuses on building his presidential library and his lucrative speech business.
Bush’s ‘internal alarm clock’ still gets him up at 4:30 to 5 every morning. He makes Laura coffee before beginning his exercise workout. Just as in Washington, he hits dirt-bike trails around Dallas regularly.
Like Obama, Bush has become a zealous golfer. He and Laura joined Brookhollow Country Club, and he’s on the links there or at Preston Trail Golf Club three times a week most weeks.
“He’s getting better,” a friend says, guessing he may be playing at a 12 handicap. He has installed putting greens at his North Dallas home and Crawford ranch.
The Bushes eat out with pals at least once a week. The wives typically choose the venue. He’s a big fan of the ham and cheese souffle at Rise, a trendy Inwood Village souffle bistro.
He misses some of the old perks, like the aide who cleaned up after his Scottish terrier Barney, but at 64 and comfortable, he has no complaints – and as his book makes clear, few regrets.
“He’s got a great life and he knows it,” an old friend told The NY Daily News. “He’s so relieved to be out of Washington – you have no idea.” [via NY Daily News]