A president strangely disaffected by national matters eventually alienated a Yale grad who enjoyed several dinners with George Bush in the White House, he writes in Vanity Fair. C. Brian Smith, a pal of young Barbara Bush nicknamed "Smitty" by the affable president, initially enjoyed his relaxing evenings with the "kind and considerate" Bush. But he's chilled when the president spends a slow evening watching a bad movie in the White House a mere month after 9/11.
"I leave the White House feeling more anxious about national security than when I arrived," Smith writes. "Dog farts and diarrhea nicknames used to make me laugh, too. But with the cavity in lower Manhattan still smoldering in my mind—and pre-emptive war in Iraq looking increasingly likely, I find myself longing for a real president." Finally, Smith bypasses the dinners. "Like Vegas on a Sunday afternoon, the novelty of the place has worn off," he writes.