POLITICS
03/28/2008 02:44 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Woodward Book: Rumsfeld...Bullying, Petty. Bush...Incurious To The Point Of Cluelessness. Rice...Almost A Pathetic Figure...

he White House had more than an inkling of what was coming. This was Bob Woodward's third book about the Bush administration since 9/11, and it was sure to be less friendly than the first two. In scores of interviews over many months, Woodward's questions to senior officials had been more aggressive, more hostile. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seemed to be a particular target of the veteran Washington Post reporter, who remains, three decades after his Watergate debut, the best excavator of inside stories in the nation's capital. White House aides did recommend that the president and the vice president not grant interviews, but it was obvious that Woodward could, and would, get just about everyone else in positions of authority to talk...

...The Rumsfeld portrayed by Woodward is bullying and petty. Bush himself doesn't come off much better. The president is folksy and jocular, but incurious to the point of cluelessness. His war cabinet is deeply dysfunctional. Condoleezza Rice is almost a pathetic figure, whining to the president that she can't get Rumsfeld to return her calls.

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