In an interview that will appear in this coming Sunday's New York Times Magazine, T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oil tycoon -- ubiquitous on TV now because of his big energy plan -- tackles politics and a number of other subjects.
The longtime GOP funder says, "I may run in the next race" for president but for now comments that Barack Obama "has run a hell of a campaign" -- and he will "definitely not" have any role in the John McCain campaign.
Asked how he feels to be on the side of Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi with his energy plan, Pickens tells Deborah Solomon, "If they're on my side, that's good." He says President Bush's offshore drilling push is "not going to fix our problem. I don't call that a plan. You've got to cut imports."
But he quickly adds that he would never vote for a Democrat for president: "I don't want to go to heaven and have to face my family up there and tell them I voted for a Democrat."
Pickens says, despite his criticism of Bush, that he has no regrets for backing the Swiftboating of John Kerry in 2004 (to the tune of $3 million): "Why would I? Everything that went into those ads was the truth....I never did anything dishonest."
Greg Mitchell's new book is So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq. He is editor of Editor & Publisher.