former presidents

George W. Bush Is Doing Just Fine

U.S. President George W. Bush gives the thumbs up sign as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008. Bush is spending the weekend at Camp David, Maryland, where he is scheduled to meet tomorrow with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Barroso.
Photo: Ken Cedeno/Bloomberg News via Getty Images

The New York Times has published a check-in with former president and current Dallas resident George W. Bush, and the piece opens by answering the question that everyone is asking, all the time: How is Bush’s charmed amateur painting career going? Well, according to what he told a departing employee, he is interested in shifting his focus from portraits of himself and his house pets to “portraits of 19 foreign presidents and prime ministers he worked with during his time in the White House.” We hope he starts with Angela Merkel.

But don’t let the nostalgic tone of Bush’s proposed art project fool you: “‘He’s moved on,’ said Mark K. Updegrove, the director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, who has been interviewing him for a book on the two Bush presidents. ‘He’s comfortable with the decisions he made. He doesn’t obsess about his place in history.’” Instead, he obsesses about golf. “He’s a golf-aholic now,” said a friend. Otherwise, people say Bush’s life is mostly about library work, speeches, mountain biking, and occasionally expressing “disappointment in Mr. Obama’s performance,” as well as “concern” about “the growing influence of the Tea Party,” and enjoying the public’s growing case of Bush amnesia.