Famous People I Have Let Know Me: George W. Bush Who I Worked For When I Was (Gulp!) A…(Arghhhhhhhhhhh!)…Republican
George W. Bush (left) shown here with me when he was Vice President. He was one of my bosses when I worked at the Republican National Committee as the GOP’s chief Party propagandist, as Editor of the Party’s weekly publication “Monday.” My other boss, at a different time, was Bob Dole.
When Bush became Veep, we continued to see one another periodically, every six months or so, when I would visit him at the White House. These were “social calls” so they never appeared on his official schedule. That’s what he told me. But, hey!, it just occurred to me that this was just a cover story to keep the press from knowing that Bush was meeting with a maniac like me!
In any event, our meetings were about 45 minutes each during which I explained to him in some detail how he could do his job better. In fact, that’s how I pitched the idea that we should meet now and then. I said that every so often I’d stop down and tell him how he could do his job better. He said: “Fine.” The rest is history. He went on the become President whereas I….well, I’m telling you this story.
Being a new Christian at the time (I was saved by God’s grace alone in 1980), I sometimes quoted Scripture to the Veep and told him what God required of him as a civil government official. At first, he was tolerant. But his patience wore thin at times - as his expression in the above photo indicates. Indeed, there were times when we discussed “religion” and I thought he was stepping on his silent alarm to call the Secret Service to come quickly and wrestle me to the ground. Didn’t happen.
In any event, about all I remember re: his response to my preaching to him was him saying, at one point, somewhat exasperatedly, something close to: “Look, John, we’re Episcopalians. We believe in Jesus.We go to church. What more do you want from me?” To which I replied, something like: “That’s not the question, sir. The question is: What does God require of you in your office of Vice President?”? At which point, as I recall it, I was told that my time had expired and he showed me — cordially — to the door and thanked my for my visit.
A footnote: This photo was shown on a weekly TV show I hosted in the late 1990s for Paul Weyrich’s conservative network “National Empowerment Television.” The program was “It’s Only Politics.” Thus, the NET logo in the lower right hand of this picture. I’m converting some of these programs to DVD from VHS and hope to make them available on this site.