Inaccuracies in Matt Latimer's new book — Speech-less

From the Politico:

Dana Perino, writing on the National Review's website said: "I knew Matt only a little bit. Now that an excerpt of his book is out, I'm reminded of what a veteran of three White Houses told me:

Beware of the quiet guy in the room. ... For example, he writes that President Bush didn't know who Sarah Palin was. That's rubbish — Bush had just met Palin the previous month in Alaska, and he mentioned that to me literally two seconds after McCain made his announcement. So much of what Latimer claims the president said don't ring true to me.

I was with the president for whole days at a time, through thick and thin, and I never heard him say things like that about others. ...I'm pretty sure that almost everyone who worked in the White House could not pick Matt out of a lineup, and I doubt that'll change much after this book. Speechless should have been called 'Shameless.'" . . .

John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary more positively discusses part of the book:

A new book by Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer, "Speechless: Tales of a White House Survivor," describes a conversation that Mr. Latimer had before the president addressed the annual CPAC conference, the largest gathering of conservative activists in the country. Mr. Bush objected to language in the draft of his remarks that attempted to identify the president with the conservative "movement."

"What is this movement you keep talking about in the speech?" the president asked Mr. Latimer. His aide explained that he meant the conservative movement, but quickly realized the president didn't understand. So Mr. Latimer launched into an explanation, only to meet silence from the president.

"Let me tell you something," the president finally said. "I whupped Gary Bauer's ass in 2000. So take out all this movement stuff. There is no movement."

Mr. Latimer said he found it surprising that the president seemed to equate the conservative movement, which has a proud pedigree stretching back to Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater, with the candidacy of Mr. Bauer, a second-tier figure who had little impact on the 2000 presidential primaries. Mr. Bush, sensing his speechwriter was perplexed, finally filled in the blanks. "Look, I know this probably sounds arrogant to say," Mr. Bush said, "but I redefined the Republican Party."

That may have been true, but how well did that work out for the Republican Party?

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Blogger Alec Rogers said...

John, if you look at Peter Robinson's retort to Perino, you'll see that the so-called inaccuracies were hers - not Latimer's.

9/16/2009 7:11 PM  
Blogger mike said...


I was the staff director for the SECDEF's Detainee Task Force (called the Geren-Maples Group). Matt's book is replete with character assassination. He leaves one with the impression that he was the only competent person in DoD. His characterization of Mr. Geren and MG Maples is disgusting. These two performed admirably in a thankless job leading the DTF. Matt Latimers's ego is boundless. His expression of facts is woefully absent from his book. Put this book in the fiction section please.

12/09/2009 3:45 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just finished the book. First, any biographical
work, which this is partially, gives a distorted
view of reality. Latimer give's very positive views
of Lyle and Rumsfeld and also Karl Rove. His
views on Bush changed in time and at the end
he has mixed reviews. Latimer gives the impression of having a superfical conservative
ideology. His parents were liberal democrats
and he himself, hints of having vote for Obama.
He detested McCain and had lno respect for
Palin. Latimer had an overwhelming ambition
to make it to the White House and that colored
much of his politics. He shifted with the political
winds part of the time but his real love for Rumsfeld is clear, he paints a favorable picture
which is at odds with most other people's views.

7/19/2010 2:50 AM  

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