To: Pres. Barack Obama
January 20, 2009
Tradition says I'm supposed to write you a letter today and leave it here in the desk. As tempting as it was, I'm not letting staff write this one for me the way they usually do. I'm not the letter-writing type the same way I'm not the book-reading type. I usually just sign them without even reading them, especially if Dick wrote them. Heck, Rummy used an autopen to sign letters to dead soldiers' families until he got caught.
But I ain't doing that today. I'm writing this one myself, because I want to tell you something that's going to knock your boots off, but this has to stay between us. OK, chief?
I voted for you.
That's right. I went to the polls like everybody else. When I was done there were lots of media people around, like usual. Only one of them asked me who I voted for, even thought that seems like the first question to ask, right? And I just shot him a thumbs up and smiled and said some crap about how great democracy is, because could you imagine the shit storm if I'd told him the truth?
I wish I could see your face right now.
Confused? I certainly was. Not about my vote. I know how a butterfly ballot works . No, I was confused the day I sat where you are right now - face frozen with a grin, feet and back hurting like hell. And then they make you dance on TV at all those damn balls. Get used to it, chief, because there's a hell of a lot more where that came from.
For the last eight years, I've put on a good face, and when the right folks said dance, I danced. And you see, that's why I voted for you. Because if you're as smart as everybody says you are, then you've got a chance here I never had.
When I was running for office, I told people that when I picked my staff and my advisors, I wanted to be the dumbest guy in the room. Yeah, I know - not hard to do that, right? Well, no matter what they say in Crawford, Texas, there's a lot of smart people here in Washington, D.C. And if you're the dumbest guy in the room, then you're in real trouble. But when I campaigned, I told voters that I didn't have to be smart. I just had to hire smart people, right? Well, voters ate that crap up and I gave it out to them by the bucketful. But let me be clear on something, just between you and me, right chief?
You have to be the smartest guy in the room.
I mean, by the time I was sitting where you are right now, I had myself believing that hire-smart-people crap, too. But smarter people can put the shuck on you, and that's a lesson I learned the hard way.
Nobody's going to believe this, not even you, but those weapons of mass destruction - I really did think Iraq had them. Hell, that Hussein asshole (no offense) all but said he had 'em. And at the time I've got half the intelligence services in this country saying he's got them and the other half saying he might have them. And then there's Dick saying "Bomb, bomb, bomb." What was I supposed to do?
It was after September 11 and I didn't know the difference between a Sunni and a Shia. Heck, I didn't even know that "Muslim" and "Arab" weren't the same thing until Prince Bandar told me. And if that spooks your cattle, then just wait until you learn about the Persians.
I was supposed to know better. And I've had to live with it ever since. You know who hasn't had to live with it? The four thousand something men and women who got killed because I screwed up. And people think that doesn't bother me. It does, because when some soldier's mom comes up to you wailing and demanding to know why her baby died, "because he got shot" doesn't cut it for an answer.
I voted for you, chief, because I could tell you were the smartest one. Heck, you whipped both Clintons at the same time, and no dummy can pull that off, especially not an old stuffed shirt like my old man.
I'd appreciate it, too, if you didn't share this little nugget with Sen. McCain. We were crosswise with each other for a long time - especially after what Karl did to him in the 2000 South Carolina primary. But he eventually realized that he had to suck up to me, and one of my prized possessions I'm taking with me is a photo of the two of us. You know the one. You ought to because you used it enough in your ads - him hugging me and me kissin' him on his little bald head. He looked like a kid I'd just picked out from the orphanage.
But he wasn't the one. I knew it. And I think he knew it. I have to say this about the GOP - I might not be the smartest man in the world but I'm far from the dumbest in my party. We picked Palin from Alaska because she was even dumber than I was. You see, she's just average folks. Because she's not some Ivy League intellectual, she's not threatening to people. And now someone has sent that dumbass Joe the Plumber guy to make time with the Israelis? Who the hell let this guy back on television? I mean, I wouldn't let this guy fix my busted toilet, and now he's in Israel?
My party's addicted to dumb and they won't recover from the whuppin' you gave them until they get off that addiction. We made a mighty mess for you to clean up. I still don't understand what happened with the banks yet, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. You're smart like that. Don't make me regret my vote.
Best of luck,
George W. Bush.