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The Doggies of War

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This publishing season is thick with new and forthcoming memoirs by Bush administration insiders, from Donald Rumsfeld to Condoleezza Rice to Dick Cheney to President Bush himself. Now comes the most stunning inside account of the Bush administration to date: On the Spot: From Dog House to White House, by President Bush's dead dog Spot.

On the Spot was written with the help of the president's mother, Barbara Bush, the acknowledged authority on writing for household pets (see Millie's Book, 1990). In this new volume, Mrs. Bush demonstrates an unsuspected psychic ability, enabling her to act as the medium through which the spectral Spot tells her own remarkable story. For this reason, On the Spot marks an historic first: An inside look at a former President by a former First Lady channeling a dead dog.

Despite Mrs. Bush's involvement, however, this is Spot's unexpurgated story. Not one woof has been omitted.

Spot, an English springer spaniel, and her companion Barney, a Scottish terrier, had the run of the White House and witnessed many key events of the Bush administration. Barney quickly gained a reputation as a "bad dog" -- he was the only one in the White House who refused to roll over for the president -- and Spot emerged as Top Dog of the First Family. She remained so until, in failing health, she was put down in 2004. From beyond the grave, Spot describes:

  • Why she was called Spot: Credit goes to the president and his knack for ingenious nicknames.
  • Her arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the terrible surprise left by Socks, the Clintons' cat.
  • Her pampered life as a White House pet: While other dogs settle for chasing the postman, Barney and Spot chased the Postmaster General.
  • Her knack for being in the right place at the right time: When President Bush calls Donald Rumsfeld on the carpet, Spot is in the room going on the carpet.
From her unique, close-to-the floor perspective, Spot provides the "lowdown" on key administration figures. Among her revelations:
  • Donald Rumsfeld wears Argyle socks with his blue suits.
  • Dick Cheney's ankles are swollen to six times normal size.
  • Colin Powell wears combat boots.
  • Condoleezza Rice also wears combat boots.

Spot's most valuable role, however, is as a keen-eyed witness to history, as the following excerpts illustrate:

"The world believes President Bush choked on a pretzel. I was alone with him when it happened -- only I know the truth. It was actually a Liv-A-Snap..."

"Richard Clarke came into the Oval Office. He urgently wanted to talk about the Presidential Daily Briefing entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.' The president glanced at it and said, 'A little fuzzy, isn't it?' Then he rolled up the report and rapped me on the nose with it because I'd gone on the carpet again..."

"George Tenet told the president that CIA intelligence indicated that locating weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would be a 'slam dunk.' The president said, 'George, you want to talk intelligence? You want to talk slam dunk? Watch this.' He crumpled a piece of White House stationery into a ball and tossed it on the floor. I dutifully picked it up, carried it to the wastebasket, and dropped it in. The president threw his hands over his head and yelled: 'Score!'..."

"Colin Powell warned the president about 'the Pottery Barn rule -- you break it, you bought it.' The president said, 'I don't get it.' Then he said, 'Hey, watch what Spotty can do. Play dead, Spotty! C'mon girl! Play dead! Spot! I said play dead! C'mon, you stupid dog...'"

"The night before the invasion of Iraq, the president said, 'Spotty, they're sayin' we're gonna be greeted as liberators. What do you think? Is it gonna be a cakewalk or is it gonna be rough?' I told him, 'Rough! Rough!' But the president didn't listen. He just made me fetch a tennis ball..."

"Everyone was confused by the president's estimates of how long the U.S. would be in Iraq. You have to remember that the president made his calculations in dog years..."

On the Spot is a startling political exposé by an insider who knows where all the bones are buried -- including her own.

Also available in audio, e-book, and rawhide editions.

See also: Decision Points by George W. Bush--Leaked!