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The Burning Bush.
Underneath that stern exterior, burns
a Clintonesque party animal... only worse.

March 4, 1999

Well, after studying George W., I have found a redeeming value that just might put him in the White House, after all.

And, ironically, it isn't that he represents a big change from Clinton, or as they would want you to believe, that he represents a return to dignity and probity, oh, no, not that.

It's really because he is so much like Clinton that he will actually have a chance in November 2000. Wait until you see the party pictures. Wait until you hear his old drinking buddies tell their stories. George himself has already addressed it, when he said that his family and marriage are prepared for whatever comes. For almost half his life, Bush was distinguished mainly by his hearty appetite for partying. A Newsweek profile by Evan Thomas, describing his college years, says he "seems to have majored in beer drinking at the Deke House." After he formed his first company (which failed), Thomas writes, "By his own account, Bush spent a lot of time in bars, trying to sort out who he was. He had a kind of ragged nervous energy in that period, and he could be a bully." But, at 40 (so goes the Bush family legend) Junior quit drinking and turned to the love of his "good woman" as he put it, and settled down. But that isn't exactly true.

He was so worried about his past that he hired a private detective to investigate himself. According to an unnamed insider quoted on MSNBC, Bush "isn't terribly thrilled" about what they found, though no one is spilling the details (yet). "No handcuffs or dwarf orgies, but he was a handsome, rich playboy and lived that life," the insider said.

In true Gary Hart fashion, Bush freely and proudly states to reporters that he has been faithful to his wife. However, he was married at 31 and makes no claim of virginity before that point, even as he lectures the youth of today to remain celibate. A Clinton aide who was in Bush's class at Yale has already warned him that "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

There are innumerable rumors reported in the national press that George W. didn't just smoke a little pot, he was using cocaine and other stuff. Today, when he lectures college students on morality, and they shout out questions about this, his standard reply, without a denial, is "I will say what I did as a youth is irrelevant. What is relevant is, have you grown up, and I have." Apparently, he feels that that is a good position, but he is wrong.

When pressed on the hypocrisy issue, he speaks to baby boomer parents everywhere: "If I were you, I wouldn't tell your kids that you smoked pot unless you want 'em to smoke pot. I think it's important for leaders, and parents, not to send mixed signals. I don't want some kid saying, 'Well, Governor Bush tried it.'"

So, there you have it. And, I'll rest my case here... for now. George W. Bush, Governor of Texas, defending hypocrisy and if not relishing his past, at least leveraging it into an advantage. Still the women are not appearing before the cameras yet, but they will. And one last thing to compare this guy with America's guy, Bill Clinton: In George's past there is the word "bully" and "tough guy." No one ever said those things about Bill. So, there may be more in this Bush than just smoke. In the future, you will hear about him dodging Vietnam, which in Bill was always OK, but in conservative George will be disastrous. And, then, there are his insider business deals, including foreign deals with the help of George, Sr. And then there's Karla Faye Tucker. Remember her?

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