Half your family is in Texas, the other half may be in Alabama. He was involved in a lot of the big speeches sometimes, but I think that was what the President wanted. But in terms of running it and what we had to do, he didn't do too much. If you're there, everyone is gone. I think it was for Detroit on foreign affairs. Senior staff. I don't mark it as much as he did. I'm pro-life.
It's amazing. Landon Parvin? Bloomington would be a great place--you know the film Breaking Away? He didn't do mine, but he does do other people like me. So on a whole host of issues, President Bush was trying to make the case that compassion isn't about sending you to a federal bureaucracy if you have a problem. I think he was asking Gordon Crovitz for the 24-hour tour of Paris. I didn't see it beforehand. You're actually with him when he's laying out the speech and the policy people aren't there, generally. First of all, thank you for your time, and more than your time.
They sent a note inviting us. I still feel that way. We're either looking for applause lines or something. You're writing about the first term. Then you make a correction--and he has to re-mark the card up. When you're doing, say, Social Security, you have to see what the President has said in the previous four years and not contradict it. We might do that six times in a day. Of course for some of them they're on. His advantage was that he was definitely an advisor. William McGurn is a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board and writes the weekly "Main Street" column for the Journal each Tuesday. We would read it through again just to make sure it's not. He's out in the theater operating, that's his job. I forget what it was. We wrote an editorial on it, "God, Man, and Notre Dame" or "God, Man, and Bush" or something, so it was a story. In the magazine we were always bashing George H. W. Bush for things--he went back on his tax pledge and so forth. People think differently and so forth. From the podium you have three branches of government represented there. I think it was less in me. They sent back their changes and they wanted to say up to--was it 20,000 or 25,000 troops? Then the deputies and so forth would be in the OEOB [Old Executive Office Building] next door. In fact, a year after, when he left office in 2009, that summer my wife and I said we're going to drive down to Texas. Then you had the Anbar Awakening in Iraq. In the beginning I really didn't know. And you would prepare, your office would prepare--. But the problem is again, if you're rebuilding a house and people say, "Oh, it would be nice if it had a bay window," well, it depends what kind of house it is. I'd have a page and a half, I'm done, and I've said everything. I used to do a brief political Q&A [question and answer] on the local news on Saturdays. I think I talked to Mr. Murdoch. I don't know.
I did the first one for Paul Ray Smith, an Army sergeant. There are various threads that are at tension with one another. Part of the job was writing speeches for him, but that wasn't enough full time, so he had me write columns for the New York Post. He got out and I think he called my dad just as he got out, but then we hadn't heard from him in hours so we didn't know if the tower fell on him or whatever. It varied. How does somebody who is that young--. Iraq is going to hell. It was eventually sold to Father Richard John Neuhaus. It's a good question. Everyone is giving input. I went to Afghanistan during the first war, spent two weeks in Afghanistan more or less by myself with Afghan units.
So your acclimation to the White House and how the White House works is how Andy Card runs it. I had, I don't know, it's a little while now. There are three speeches on St. Patrick's Day. Same for President Obama. I didn't come back to New York. William will be deeply missed by his wife, Maryann; his son, Scott McGurn and his wife, Katheryne of Methuen; his daughter, Anne Drouin and her husband, Michael of Haverhill; his grandson, Patrick Drouin; and several nieces and nephews. Right. I remember we had to change the angle because one of the lights in the background looked like a cross and we didn't want it to look like a crusader's thing, the way the light was shining on the thing. For conservatives like me, Hayek is the gold standard because he really believes in the free society and so forth. And if I told you, "Now, look for the three parts," you could kind of see it. One thing I learned from Mike that was kind of interesting-- when I write I try to find out the fact first and then I write the sentence with it. Reagan was leaving office. No, they're all--some of them, except for the surge, kind of fade in my mind. So when he grew up he was Billy. It was early on. He now runs, I think, Philanthropy Roundtable or something. Tonight the Gulf Coast is still coming through the dirge, yet we will live to see the second line. I think most of them don't feel that satisfied with the treatment. In here it says he tried to hire me twice. It will enhance any encyclopedic page you visit with the magic of the WIKI 2 technology. They would outline the events that were coming up. It was probably 1996--we did a big 50th anniversary. We had four or five fact checkers, two researchers I think.
That would be more--you'd have to ask--well, Bob Bartley is dead now. Everyone has been to horrible long speeches where you think they're winding up and they say, "Now for my second point." William McGurn. You will receive email notifications when changes are made to the online memorial, including when family and friends post to the Guestbook.
President Bush would probably say, "Look at [Harry] Truman. AKA William J. McGurn. I think people were more inspired when he came up and had the bullhorn.
Everyone is riding bicycles. He may have had more derogatory ones that I didn't hear, but that was the one he used most of the time. It's just how the NSC handles it when you're working with classified material.
It was often fluid because it was a last-minute thing. By the way, while you were there were you doing any writing? We loved it. He was very patient with me. I'm not sure Mike did this. This is probably an hour and a half before he's giving the speech or two and a half hours. The music school was a tremendous school. I don't think they were malicious. I had fewer hours' sleep. So we were kind of involved in all of them. If anything, in some ways we were too deferential to the Pentagon, because they failed. It's like seeing a skeleton beneath the surface. I just considered this would be my life. So you could tell during my years after a while who did what because I put that first and so forth. It was really messy. By the fall, way before the midterms, President Bush was planning to change his strategy. He could hate it. When it came up--I got this note from Bill Buckley saying, "Come see me. In the interim he had bought the Wall Street Journal, so I was happy to come back here. I was inspired by the speech. The snakes that St. Patrick threw out, that has been told. I remember trying to get the slides declassified. He was taken with Natan Sharansky's book on democracy. I remember sitting outside Rupert's office thinking, Why the heck am I here? I had more fun. I always went up to the first car. I wouldn't have put it that way because I didn't know what the structure was before. The midterm election has just been disastrous. Was this something that one member of your staff specialized in, or--. They used to stay in the Waldorf before the Chinese bought it and I think they suspect bugged it. Then when a President gives a big speech, "big" meaning it is designed to have a big audience and be consequential, would there be an aftermath where basically you're assessing or others are assessing how well did this work? When you're 25, that's a lot of fun. I respect him for it. Then there would be Thursday writing it and getting it into shape.
Then we saw some of the results, the purple fingers in the air. The girls were excited. Someone knows almost everything.
A lot of people at the White House are either very young, where the money is actually good for them, or they're lawyers, older, and they've built up savings. I didn't get a chance to hop back. It was a joint decision, we passed on it. Then books by administration alumni. They were all telling me, "If you get the chance, go out there."
I wouldn't denounce him; I'd just say we have a difference of opinion and I can't do that. The Journal audience is businessmen. Even when I first joined, things were still pretty optimistic. I just wonder--You had a perspective on him as President before you entered the White House. If he was going to read a speech, frequently that would be the time he has questions about a speech, 6:45, because he's reading it.
So that was kind of fun.
", What the President did not know is that I had never been shooting before.
It's just pay grades and all the other stuff. My middle one who reads voraciously was dying to have the question asked to her. If you were down on your back and you said your house is burned down and I'm going to build it and I'm going to think of how to do, it people would all come with suggestions.
I've just never done writing like that before in my life, so I was kind of amazed by it. Dick Morris would have one and stuff. First of all, that's far more difficult for people who are far more politically correct because they walk around on eggshells. Nelson: Did you go by Billy? It didn't matter to me except that it matters to everyone else. You mentioned the trip to Notre Dame. McGurn: I'm sure in that process people like Karl Rove were looking over it, but I was not part of that process at all. Other people were announcing what--now when I've looked at the clips, people are showing the clips, especially of the second plane going right in. I always say the two keys are write short sentences, because when you're speaking the pauses between sentences can sound like commas. It was huge. John didn't leave, but John had sort of become on the side Vice President [Richard B.] I would take Chris Michel, Marc Thiessen, and we'd go over, the four of us would read it in this office, read it aloud. I think we told a joke about armadillos or something. The President came out, gave an impromptu speech.
But it's a fact of life today that you have to master. But we had, for example--I remember Condoleezza Rice coming through and talking. My point is he asked everyone. Because there was a good team, it didn't seem like there was going to be a giant hole there. But generally what I would do was assign someone: You write the draft and then we will work off the draft and fix it, put applause lines in, this sort of thing.
It certainly wasn't tinged with any politics the way evangelical politics has sometimes been tinged with the Republican Party. He knew the President--sometimes they bickered like a married couple. Not just more troops, a different strategy. He decided to wait. Rumsfeld said, "the unknown unknowns" and so forth. I flew out there. I didn't know all of them very well, but got to know different ones from different administrations. Seth Lipsky said, "You know, when Bill Buckley asks you to see him, you should at least go see him.". He was kind of a shrewd observer of human beings. Yes. When people say evenhanded, my antennae go up. I think up to then I hadn't lived in the same apartment or house for more than two years. We sent someone. It was just chaos in there. They're recreating an entire military strategy. He didn't ask me.
It can't be just on a subject where everyone agrees. It is a lot more bailing wire and duct tape. He's clerking for a Supreme Court Justice. So she took our youngest. I could have.
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