Bush memoir recounts his 'Decision Points' in office

William Browning
Yahoo! Contributor Network
Helen Hunt Doesn't Want Young Daughter on Movie Sets, Rightfully So

Former President George W. Bush starts a media and book tour to promote his new memoir, "Decision Points," out in stores Tuesday. As the title suggests, the book is about critical decisions the younger Bush made throughout his life and not just his eight years in office. Bush will be making appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Tonight Show" and has several interviews on Fox News this week in conjunction with the new book hitting stores.

Bush has been relatively quiet since leaving office when he retired to his roots in Texas. Now he's got a week's worth of events to start a nationwide book tour.

Some of the key decisions of his presidency Bush expounds upon in further detail. Whether or not readers agree with Bush's politics, it's his time to defend himself and his legacy -- just as every president does with a book release.

Here are some subjects tackled in the book:


Bush claims in the book he was "shocked" when he discovered Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Largely seen as his reason for going to war, Iraq became an unpopular mess when there were no weapons found.

"No one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn't find the weapons. I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do," Bush writes in his book.

Yet Bush had a cavalier attitude toward torture and waterboarding, particularly when the torture of prisoners came into question. When the CIA asked his permission to use partial drowning techniques as an interrogation tactic Bush's response was "Darn right."


In an interview with Matt Lauer, Bush tells of what happened after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Bush told Lauer that when he only flew over New Orleans without landing, it made Bush look "detached and uncaring, no question about it."

Katrina was largely seen as a failure of the federal government to do its job. Bush's image during the crisis was particularly damaging when he was criticized for not putting more resources toward saving the city's residents.

2008 election

Perhaps Bush's most telling thoughts came in regards to the 2008 election between Barack Obama and John McCain. Even Bush wrote he could tell which campaign was run better, even though he is a Republican.

Obama ran a "smart, disciplined, high-tech campaign." When Oprah Winfrey asked him directly about his thoughts on Sarah Palin, Bush's colloquialisms came out: "You're asking me to wade back into the swamp."

Every president sees his time in office through the jaded eye of his upbringing, his experiences and the people surrounding him at the White House. George W. Bush is no different. His take on what happened during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the financial crisis and even the "Scooter" Libby scandal are all told from the perspective of a political figure directly responsible American lives and prosperity.

Many presidential memoirs are, in a way, a catharsis for each of the men who have shouldered the burden of being commander-in-chief, a father and the chief policymaker elected by the American people. "Decision Points" is no different -- whether you think Bush is right or wrong, believable or not, he attempts to purge his soul before the altar of his electorate in every detail.