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10/ 6/06

11:45 AM


Bush Père Caught in Hillary's Speculation Tractor Beam

The admirably Hillary Clinton–obsessed blog JustHillary has transcribed an interview of Thursday's World News Tonight with former president George H.W. Bush (or "Badass 41" as they call him whenever he swings by Yale for Skull and Bones waterboarding parties). The chunk of interest regards Hillary's possible presidential bid, a subject that's apparently been bouncing around the former commander in chief's increasingly Grandpa Simpsonian noggin for quite some time.

Charlie Gibson: Do you think she's gonna run?

George H.W. Bush: [Pause] I've felt so up till now, but I'm not positive. But I don't get anything from him [Bill Clinton] on that … I don't know why I have this feeling maybe she won't, but if I had to bet my last buck on it, I'd say she would.

Gibson: She would run.

Bush: Mm-hmm.

Gibson: It's, it's going to be a fascinating election in 2008. I was thinking just yesterday, I don't think prior probably to … since Eisenhower-Stevenson, in '52, that we've gone into an election without a sort of natural candidate in one of the two parties. Want to handicap it?

Bush: Well, I — see, I wouldn't concede her [Hillary Clinton] the nomination. Again I — who am I to sit here talking about Democratic politics when I'm not even in Republican politics.

Gibson: Well, but you've shown a pretty good political acumen in your life.

Bush: Yeah, well, I have … little private opinions that are unsubstantiated by fact. But I think she's going to have a tough fight, and I don't know from who. I don't know Mark Warner. I think Evan Bayh and these are attractive younger guys, maybe not a lot younger than Hillary but young people who are ambitious, and think they'd be good presidents. And so I think the fight's just beginning. And I don't think it's a gimme for me, nor do I think that, that, necessarily that they can beat her.

Gibson: There's a lot of people who think that there's going to be a situation where one Democrat will emerge, and it would be that person v. Hillary.

Bush: Well I — I'm — I'm not surprised, that in essence is, I guess, what I'm trying to say here, not particularly articulately. Because I think, as the heat gets up, you'll see that happen …

Toward the end of the interview, former President Bush wondered, "You're on the TV, right, son? Do you know Jack Benny?" "Hell on heels, it's gotta be about 3 o'clock, what do ya say we open up the goddamn bar?" "Who's Hillary Clinton?" and "Glug," before slipping off into a deep peaceful slumber.

Read the rest of the interview.