Bush in ‘08 told British PM that he would have endorsed Obama had he been asked

Alex Barker writes at the Financial Times blog:

George W. Bush’s bombastic return to the world stage has reminded me of my favourite Bush anecdote, which for various reasons we couldn’t publish at the time. Some of the witnesses still dine out on it.

The venue was the Oval Office. A group of British dignitaries, including Gordon Brown, were paying a visit. It was at the height of the 2008 presidential election campaign, not long after Bush publicly endorsed John McCain as his successor.

Naturally the election came up in conversation. Trying to be even-handed and polite, the Brits said something diplomatic about McCain’s campaign, expecting Bush to express some warm words of support for the Republican candidate.

Not a chance. “I probably won’t even vote for the guy,” Bush told the group, according to two people present.”I had to endorse him. But I’d have endorsed Obama if they’d asked me.”

Endorse Obama? Cue dumbfounded look from British officials, followed by some awkward remarks about the Washington weather. Even Gordon Brown’s poker face gave way to a flash of astonishment.

Of course there was deep personal enmity between Bush and McCain. But for Bush to say that he would have endorsed Obama makes us realize that the “W.” in George W. Bush stands for worthless.

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Paul G., who sent the item, writes:

Truly, the man was a fearless leader of the right.

At least Churchill’s “If Hitler invaded Hell, I’d put in a good word for the Devil” came during WWII. What’s Bush’s excuse?

LA replies:

His excuse was that he had personal enmity against John McCain.

James P. writes:

Why shouldn’t Bush have endorsed Obama, just like his two Secretaries of State? =)

One suspects that McCain himself wanted to endorse Obama. He did just about everything else to ensure that Obama won.

Bush’s bizarre pronouncement is of a piece with his “worst moment of my Presidency” statement about Kanye West. But pandering to blacks is as futile for Bush (and indeed for any Republican) as pandering to Hispanics.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 10, 2010 03:47 PM | Send

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