Those around him have learned how to manipulate him through the art of flattery. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld played Bush like a Stradivarius, exploiting his grandiosity. “Rumsfeld would later tell his lieutenants that if you wanted the president’s support for an initiative, it was always best to frame it as a ‘Big New Thing.'” Other aides played on Bush’s self-conception as “the Decider.” “To sell him on an idea,” writes Draper, “aides were now learning, the best approach was to tell the president, This is going to be a really tough decision.”
Bush appears to live in a world all his own. In the name of all that is holy let’s hope he insists on showing up at every GOP campaign stop in the country next fall, like the crazy uncle nobody wants at the wedding who gets instantly loaded and starts groping everyone and nobody knows how to tactfully disinvite but thinks he’s the life of the party.
That’s not just an asset. That’s priceless.