Reports that U.S. President George W. Bush has read 60 books this year as part of a reading contest with his political adviser Karl Rove have been received with much skepticism. Bush’s critics say “a man who so regularly mangles the English language and seems to disdain complexity couldn’t possibly be so cerebral,” Kenneth T. Walsh wrote in a U.S. News and World Report story last weekend. According to the story, the competitive Bush was delighted to be winning the contest against Rove, who had read only 50. Those who are skeptical of the number of books Bush read may be even more skeptical about his choice of books. “The commander in chief delved into three volumes in August alone — two on Abraham Lincoln and, more surprising for a man of unambiguous convictions, The Stranger, Albert Camus’s existential tale of murder and alienation,” wrote Walsh.
The whole thing starts to make more sense when Walsh reveals that “portraying Bush as a voracious reader is part of an ongoing White House campaign to restore what a senior adviser calls gravitas to the Bush persona.”
Suspending our disbelief for a moment, Quillblog wonders how the man who is supposed to be in charge of ending the violence in Iraq, helping to resolve other conflicts in the Middle East, and finding Osama bin Laden could find time to read that many books. Actually, it could explain a lot.
Click here for the story in U.S. News and World Report