Jun 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

George H. W. Bush chief of staff out with memoir on post-presidency life

Mike Allen
George HW Bush book
Cover: Twelve

Jean Becker, who was President George H. W. Bush's gatekeeper and chief of staff for the last 25 years of his life, is out today with a memoir, "The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H. W. Bush's Post-Presidency."

  • Becker recalls his first words to her, in 1987:
He was vice president of the United States and running for president. I was a reporter for USA Today ... I was assigned to travel with the vice president on a trip to South Dakota and had been asking the press staff all day for a short interview. Finally, late at night on the long flight back to Washington, they said I could have five minutes.
I was scared to death. He was by far the most important person I had interviewed, unless you count a phone interview with Billy Joel. I made my way to the front of Air Force Two, introduced myself, and sat across from him with my notebook in hand. He gave me an exhausted — and slightly exasperated — look. "What do you got?" he asked.
And we were off and running.

🥊 My favorite sentence: "Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington, DC, are not bothered by heavy traffic!"

Bush's life was so full that the book includes a cast of characters: "Meacham, Jon" falls between "Major, John" and "Mulroney, Brian."

  • Read comments about the book by James A. Baker III, Dana Carvey, Valerie Jarrett, Mary Matalin, Michael Duffy and more.
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