Books | Gay Marriage | George W. Bush | Larry Craig

Speechwriter: Bush Didn't Want to Tell a Gay Kid He Couldn't Marry

The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim has published a trove of nuggets from the forthcoming book from former Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer, Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor. Two I've lifted for this crowd:


Bush, when told that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig had been the latest GOPer to be caught in a sex scandal involving boys or men: "What is up with all these Republicans?"

For a commencement address at Furman University in spring 2008, Ed Gillespie wanted to insert a few lines condemning gay marriage. Bush called the speech too "condemnatory" and said, "I'm not going to tell some gay kid in the audience that he can't get married." (Of course, Bush ran his 2004 campaign telling that kid just that.)

Here's the book's description, for those of you who haven't seen the TV pre-press: "As a young political geek, Matt Latimer dreamed of one day heading to Washington to work for a conservative president and usher in another Reagan Revolution. With the support of his slightly mortified liberal parents, he tried to do just that -- but his youthful exuberance began to cool as he moved up the rungs of power. On Capitol Hill he worked for a Congressman who “misremembered” basic facts, assisted a U.S. Senator who hid from his own staff, and met another who cowed her male aides into carrying her purse. Finally ensconced in the White House as one of George W. Bush’s chief speechwriters, he soon realized that the post wasn’t at all what he’d envisioned. Less like Aaron Sorkin’s 'The West Wing' and more like NBC’s 'The Office,' D.C.’s most prestigious address turned out to be a bizarro world in which the major players were in some ways mirror opposites of their public images. 

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  1. It's fascinating how many young, aspiring Republicans fashion themselves in the Alex P. Keaton mold.

    Posted by: Zach | Sep 21, 2009 9:38:27 AM

  2. Now THAT sounds like a great book. I wonder when or if he's already shown up on HBO with Bill Maher.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | Sep 21, 2009 9:46:12 AM

  3. Wow, I wonder if that's true. I also wonder what Ed's sister would think of that.

    Posted by: SammySeattle | Sep 21, 2009 2:04:48 PM

  4. I think W was the worst President of the modern era, without a doubt. But I have always felt somehow that he did not really dislike homosexuality or gay people generally and probably hated even going after it for political points. Granted, he did, as do most Republicans because it scores easy political points. But I certainly have never felt he abhors gay people like Pat Robertson or Mike Huckabee. I just think he's an opportunist. While in the end the result is the same, somehow I just cannot hate him as much as the religious right folk.

    Posted by: Erick | Sep 21, 2009 11:26:07 PM

  5. You know Erick, I actually hold the same "belief" but an opposing emotional opinion: I too belief Bush doesn't beileve HALF his anti-gay rhetoric. He says to get votes and political points. But that, to me, makes him even worse than your average run-of-the-mill right-wing religius nutbag; the man knows better, and rather than educate the masses, and promote love, understanding, and peace, and uses their ignorance and bigotry, feeds it, and uses it for his own gain.

    The religious right folks have an excuse: they're brainwashed by the cults their call their religions. Bush has no such excuse: he's just greedy and will happily Do The Wrong Thing if it means he wins a Prize.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 2, 2011 6:48:03 PM

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