We deal with policy, not personality, at the IWF. But of course you have to think about the men and women behind the policies: do they have the depth to get it right and the courage to do what is required in the most powerful office in the world (let's hope it still is!)? 

No, this is not a post on the lively GOP debate last night.

It's a post about George W. Bush. Remember him? I simply can't stop myself from calling your attention to a wonderful profile of former President George W. Bush in–of all places–the liberal American Scholar magazine. Whatever you think of Bush, this article, by former Washington Post reporter Walt Harrington, must be on your reading list.

Speaking of reading lists, George W. Bush, contrary to his media image as a dummy, is an avid reader and student of history. Harrington lists some of the books W. likes. According to the profile, Bush found in his reading an understanding of what it takes to stand alone:

"When I got elected governor and president, history gave me a chance to study the decisions of my predecessors," Bush says. As governor, he read The Raven, by Marquis James, a biography of Sam Houston, the father of Texas statehood. "I was fascinated by the story of Houston voting against secession, and reading a description of him basically being driven out of town by angry citizens. … My only point is that one lesson I learned, if they're throwing garbage on Houston, arguably Texas's most famous politician-Sam Houston Elementary School, where I went to school in Midland, was named for him!-if they're throwing garbage on him, they can throw garbage on me."

Oh, and Harrington recalls that there was a lack of civility even before the tea party:

…at the University of Illinois, where I had become a journalism professor after leaving The Washington Post in 1996, I was surrounded by students and faculty angry about Bush's impending invasion of Iraq. In my academic cocoon, Bush was called a stupid warmonger trying to avenge his father's failure to oust Saddam Hussein, a stupid warmonger trying to make the world safe for Big Oil, a stupid warmonger trying to prop up his sagging popularity. I told colleagues that I believed Bush-right or wrong-sincerely considered Iraq a deadly threat to the United States, period. My view got me labeled a Bush conservative. Then one morning I got into my academic office building's elevator and saw this scratched into the paint: "Kill Bush."

I had to catch my breath: Was this America?

Please read this profile, and, when you are considering your 2012 vote, remember two things: (1.) The mainstream media is going to pillory any candidate who doesn't share their values, and (2.) We are electing somebody to a job that demands character.    

Oh, and I can't wait to see what Maureen Dowd is going to do with Harrington's revelation that  Bush is studying Genghis Khan!