Misunderestimating Bush and Cheney

George W. was no puppet of his Vice President—and for better or worse, we're still living in the world he built.

Issue: November-December 2013

Peter Baker, Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House (New York: Doubleday, 2013), 816 pp., $35.00.

A SPECTER is haunting Washington—the specter of George W. Bush. President Obama may have spent almost five years in the White House by now, but it’s still possible to detect the furtive presence of a certain restless shade lurking in the dimmer corners of the federal mansion. Needless to say, this is something of a first: usually U.S. presidents have to die before they can join the illustrious corps of Washington ghosts, and 43 is, of course, still very much alive in his tony Dallas neighborhood, by all accounts enthusiastically pursuing his new avocation as an amateur painter. Yet his spirit is proving remarkably hard to exorcise.

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