herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Baby or drink, Laura warned boozing Bush

Former US president George Bush said his upcoming book will begin with an anecdote about his wife persuading him to give up drinking by pushing him to choose booze or fatherhood.

Mr Bush said Decision Points, to be published in November, opened with the scene and him questioning whether he loved drinking more than his wife Laura. He said he realised he had an addictive personality and stopped drinking.

That act set him on the path to the presidency, Mr Bush said in his address to an American Wind Energy Association conference in Dallas, Texas.

He said the book was less autobiography and more an analysis of key decisions in his life, both before and after he was elected president. Topics will include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the troop surge in Iraq, his responses to terrorists attacks and Hurricane Katrina and the financial meltdown.

Mr Bush (63) who left office in January 2009 and moved with his wife to Dallas, discussed retirement, joking that his domestic agenda now consisted of taking out the rubbish and doing the dishes.

He also joked about the comedown of post-presidential life, saying he realised how different his life was when he was walking his dog Barney.

"There I was," he said. "Former president of the US, with a plastic bag in my hand, picking up what I had been dodging for eight solid years."

Although Mr Bush was criticised for not acknowledging errors during his presidency, he was more candid at the convention. He said his biggest regret was not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and said he was misled by intelligence reports.

hnews@herald.ie

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