Bush Out to Lunch at Yalie's Dinners

Barbara's Yale pal quits get-togethers after witnessing Bush's 'disturbing disconnection'
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2009 3:23 AM CST
C. Brian Smith recounts the story of his warm acceptance by the Bush family, only to turn away from the president in the wake of September 11th.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
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(Newser) – 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.