December 2nd, 2008
04:15 PM ET

Being president was great, but I really missed doing live musical theater

Jack Gray
AC360 Associate Producer

President Bush is in the autumn of his years.  At least politically speaking.  And, if his interview with Charlie Gibson last night was any indication, the president seems to be speaking more freely.  No, I’m not talking about the part of the interview when he stood up and did his Beyonce “Single Ladies” routine.  That was just bizarre.

The president seems reflective, nostalgic, even emotional – qualities that he no doubt inherited from his father, the famously mushy 41st president.  That’s of course compared to his mother, the stoic Barbara Bush, who after undergoing emergency surgery last week for a perforated ulcer spent her recuperation doing one-armed push-ups and bench-pressing orderlies.

Anyway, the president’s lame duck status (um, excuse me, Vice President Cheney…no sir, I wasn’t referring to an actual lame duck…no sir, you misunderstood...yes sir, you can put your machine gun away) has made him, in some respects, a more intriguing figure.

He is willing – almost eager – to discuss his shortcomings.  Almost as willing as he is to discuss his post-presidential stint on Broadway replacing Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray.

There will of course also be the obligatory post-presidency book.  Many of you – polls show the majority of Americans hold the president in poor regard – will probably say you have no interest in buying it.  But I think it’s a safe bet that if George W. Bush is ever going to make any major revelations about his presidency they’re going to be in that book.  Plus if you pre-order it online you get his instructional DVD on how to make Texas Gumbo.

The president will no doubt get at least several offers for his own television show.  Frankly, I’m surprised someone hasn’t already pitched The Real Ex-Presidents of Crawford, Texas.

Or maybe he and Sarah Palin will team up for a morning show.  Kind of like a Republican version of Regis & Kelly.  And instead of Gelman as their off-screen foil they’ll have Scooter Libby.  And instead of giving away trips to Anguila they’ll give away trips to lob hand grenades at Alaskan brown bears.

In the meantime, the country will bear witness to something that fascinates billions around the world:  the peaceful transition of power.  Which is basically just President Bush vacuuming up pretzel crumbs in the East Room and changing the chlorine tablets in Hot Tube One.  But, hey, it's what makes the United States a true democracy.

Plus the Bushes want their cleaning deposit back.

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Alex

    You know, I'll bet GW is gonna miss doing live theater. But his song and dance over the past eight years on the world stage has been like one of those shows on TV. When you turn on your TV and begin to watch, you can't help but wonder if it's gonna get any better. So you keep watching and waiting and it just gets worse. Finally after wasting your time, you give up on it as a lost cause. You shut the TV off, go to the frig and get a beer, and drink it by yourself. Such has been the days of George W. Bush in the White House. Nothing short of one bad show!

    December 3, 2008 at 8:48 am |
  2. Megan Dresslar (Shoreline, Wa)

    Hellooo Jack!!!!
    Awwww Jack!!!!!! That is so funny blog tonight!!!! I love this!!!! I hope you're right about that!!!! I am lady single night! I hear Anderson will fill-in/subbing Regis and Kelly show for Regis next Thursday and Friday..... That's great joke I read your comment blog tonight! you are so funny man! Thanks for sharing with viewers and me...... Please more jokes posts (keep post me) Keep going to write your blog! 🙂 😛
    Yes! you're right!!! you are so funny!!!! I agree with you!! LOL!!!! I wish I want to!

    December 3, 2008 at 4:12 am |
  3. hugh ~ california

    Maybe "W" wants to get cast in "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas."
    This blog actually makes me think of these song–"Ghost Riders."
    Yi-pi-yi-ay, Yi-pi-yi-o! Ghost riders in the sky.

    December 2, 2008 at 11:54 pm |
  4. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Hi Jack:

    Wow, we groupies get a treat, Jack blogs two days in a row!

    Well, Bush writing a memoir is an interesting concept. Afterall, Obama cashed in from his two books. Question is what would Bush name his book? How about : “My Years of Strategery, including some Texas Gumbo”. Perhaps he’ll even rip McClellan a new one in it too! I think I’d much rather wait years and years and then listen to the 2,000+ hours of the White House tapes of his presidency. You know… kind of what we are hearing now with Nixon? I think it just might be a bit more juicier.

    Always enjoy your posts! Keep them coming!

    December 2, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  5. Renee

    A Bush book sounds fantastic. I have read 2 of Carters books and read the Reagan diaries cover-to-cover. Some of it twice when I have recalled my own life on a specific date. If I didn't journal that day, I got to the Reagan diary to figure out where I was on that date and if I can figure it out. It is easy to be critical of the President when you are not in his shoes.

    I would read Bush cover- to-cover. Annie Kate, don't worry, it will probably be ghost written by Laura Bush. She is the real brains of the family much like Mother Bush and Bush Sr. and Nancy and Ronnie. Who says we haven't had a women President? They First Ladies are just smart enough to work the system. Does anyone think Michelle Obama is really going to be a wall flower?

    In an excerpt of a book about Bush Sr. I read the one thing he missed about the White House was the little buzzer. Apparently when the President wakes up in his private quarters presses a button to signal the staff he is up. About 10 minutes later he would have a fresh cup of coffee. Guess he has been turning on his own pot this week. I am not sure turning on this own pot is the right words but I think you know what I mean. There is something about that sentence. Let's not go there!

    December 2, 2008 at 11:31 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    Hey Jack

    Great post as usual. Intriguing thought that Bush would write a book – even more unbelievable though is that anyone would read it. Usually adults like to read books that use words of more than one syllable. Of course, he could illustrate it himself; he still has his box of crayons his mother gave him. I'm looking forward to Bush going back to Texas and I sincerely hope he stays there. I want Sarah Palin, though, to go hunting with Dick Cheney. I hear that she is the better shot.

    December 2, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  7. Stacy

    @Presley: One more for the road: "You're working hard to put food on your family." Simple, yet says so much. Heh.

    December 2, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  8. Roweena D'Souza, Seattle

    Oh, really?, I don't think he is going to get his deposit back anyway...
    It's good to have you back though, hope you had a fun thanksgiving and found some deals too on that cute little hair thingies for Sammy!

    December 2, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  9. Tammy, Berwick. LA

    Maybe he can join his Dad and Bill in the former presidents' good works program. Or become another Jimmy Carter post-presidency. Or heck, maybe he and Anderson could sub for Kelly and Regis, do a song and dance, and have the Muppets on back up. I look forward to the book. In another year we'll all need to remember what competency in the Executive Branch during trying times was like.

    December 2, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  10. Presley

    @Stacy, ROFL!!!
    "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

    December 2, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  11. Stacy

    @Presley: You left out one of the best ones: "Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." Man, we could play this game all day.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  12. Stacy

    No, I’m not talking about the part of the interview when he stood up and did his Beyonce “Single Ladies” routine.

    Oh, thank you very much. Now I have to bleach my brain. At least you weren't talking about Cheney. *shudder*

    Speaking of Darth Vader, actual lame ducks can relax. If history is a guide, it's old men that have to worry about a face full of buck shot.

    Or maybe he and Sarah Palin will team up for a morning show. Kind of like a Republican version of Regis & Kelly.

    Will your boss be guest hosting? Perhaps he can get that elusive Palin interview yet.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  13. Presley

    "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test."
    "Redefining the role of the United States from enablers to keep the peace to enablers to keep the peace from peacekeepers is going to be an assignment."
    "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."
    "Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness."

    This is what I'll miss most about you Scarecrow.
    Good bye Presidentinizah Bush!
    *wipes tear*

    December 2, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  14. Lilibeth

    I for one can’t wait till he’s gone. I don’t care about his book, the interviews he’s giving, the movie about him…I’ve just had enough of this person. Can’t wait for Jan. 20 ’09. See you.

    December 2, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  15. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,Tx

    Howdy Jack!
    Texas Gumbo? WTF? I surely would like that reciipe. I'm just curious about what road kill is used in it. Maybe Texas dumbo would be a more accurate description. 😉
    Is that a drag queen in the pic beside "W"? Ha! What a kick!
    Do you want to know a few of my favorite things?
    Here's a partial list: Puppys, rainbows, butterflies, jewels, and drag queens!
    I travel far and wide to see drag shows. I am simply fasinated and entertained by drag queens.
    One of my friends dresses in drag when we go to NOLA. He is such a delightful Judy Garland! What a hoot he is!
    Any ole hootsey, I believe that President Bush might just start a Texas recipe book. He might entitle it " How To Cook the Crap Off The Road" of course it will be devinely inspired. Ye Haw!
    Sarah Palin is getting redundant appearing something like a dipstick with lipstick to me. Pass the pink nausea meds. Ahh, hell, pass the xanax too.
    Can't she just stay quiet for ONE day?
    Nothing like cashing in on your 15 minutes of fame. Tick, tick, tick. . .
    Thanks for the cheery blog!
    XO and Peace from Texas~

    December 2, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  16. Wesley Harlan in Dallas Tx.

    Well Jack,since W will be coming here to Dallas,or whats left of Dallas,by 1-20-09,i think he should do some far-right standup.You still see everyday,SUV's with Bush stickers on them here.I'm thinking what would he say at anything goes,live at Absinthe lounge.

    December 2, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  17. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    Oh, come on... Bush's relationship with the Saudis has put the squeeze on Iran .... now that's genius! Not a bad move for his exit strategy!

    December 2, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  18. Kristien,Antwerp, Belgium

    Thanks Jack, I now have the image of Bush in a leotard, singing "Single Ladies" in my head and it ain't pretty!

    If Bush wants to do a TV-show with Sarah Palin, let him, as long as it's on a channel we don't get here in Belgium I'm fine with that, lol.

    Thanks for the laughs! Kristien

    December 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  19. Cindy

    I think Bush gets tarred wrongly with a brush that should be used to paint a whole lot of others along with him. People love to lay the blame on a scapegoat and not take responsibility for their own actions. Congress by far has hurt this nation way more than Bush ever could have. They are after all the ones that make the laws and pass the bills that ruined this nation. Why not lay the blame where it really belongs!?


    December 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  20. dfkljk

    The Prez (or "Prezella"?) may need to work on his "acting craft" first...I'd have to say.
    However, this blog piece was a pleasure to read...have you considered comedy writing, Mr Gray?

    Dana Kaminski

    December 2, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  21. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Jack, Very Funny! – I was getting some work done on the computer – paying bills, checking mail, etc. and saw your post. Your timing is impeccable! Very funny – pretzel crumbs in the East room and chlorine tablets in hot tub one, made me chuckle. You're something else. You brightened up my day with your humor. Hope you have a great day today!

    December 2, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  22. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    I would be interested in any revelations Pres. Bush would make in a forthcoming book. Maybe he'll start a series of "Former President's Gone Wild" videos- where he chugs a few with Clinton and they look for the "W" keys in the White House. It does seem he is being almost excited about the transfer of power. Maybe Sammy could do a sit-down interview with Barney! Interesting times we live in.....

    December 2, 2008 at 3:51 pm |