I mentioned last night the strong Ron Siskind NYT Mag piece on Bush — it has people buzzing today, especially because it shines light on what the man has in the works for a second term (and this bit of information isn’t on the campaign web site).
According to notes provided to me, and according to several guests at the lunch who agreed to speak about what they heard, he said that ”Osama bin Laden would like to overthrow the Saudis . . . then we’re in trouble. Because they have a weapon. They have the oil.”
He said that there will be an opportunity to appoint a Supreme Court justice shortly after his inauguration, and perhaps three more high-court vacancies during his second term.
After his remarks, Bush opened it up for questions, and someone asked what he’s going to do about energy policy with worldwide oil reserves predicted to peak.
Bush said: ”I’m going to push nuclear energy, drilling in Alaska and clean coal. Some nuclear-fusion technologies are interesting.” He mentions energy from ”processing corn.”
”I’m going to bring all this up in the debate, and I’m going to push it,” he said, and then tried out a line. ”Do you realize that ANWR [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] is the size of South Carolina, and where we want to drill is the size of the Columbia airport?”
The questions came from many directions — respectful, but clearly reality-based. About the deficits, he said he’d ”spend whatever it takes to protect our kids in Iraq,” that ”homeland security cost more than I originally thought.”
”I’m going to come out strong after my swearing in,” Bush said, ”with fundamental tax reform, tort reform, privatizing of Social Security.” The victories he expects in November, he said, will give us ”two years, at least, until the next midterm. We have to move quickly, because after that I’ll be quacking like a duck.”