The political buzz on the tube this morning has to do with long The New York Times story on about nine hours of secret tapes made by Doug Wead, the author of a new book, The Raising of a President. Wead, who had worked for H.W. Bush, made the tapes between 1998 and shortly before W. accepted the GOP nomination in 2000. Wead said he did not mean to reveal the existence of the tapes, but was forced to let his publisher hear some of them. Then, he says, the N.Y. Times got a hold of them. Wead was interviewed on ABC News this morning.
All of the above is worth reading even though Wead seems like a knave for having done this (both the recording and making it public). Yet, what comes through in the story is, as the N.Y. Times puts it,
The private Mr. Bush sounds remarkably similar in many ways to the public President Bush. Many of the taped comments foreshadow aspects of his presidency, including his opposition to both anti-gay language and recognizing same-sex marriage, his skepticism about the United Nations, his sense of moral purpose and his focus on cultivating conservative Christian voters.
Update: Stephen Tootle has some detailed comments, and concludes:
The overall picture is better than I expected. The tapes reveal Bush to be sincere, blunt, tough, politically shrewd, and within the context of his own beliefs, remarkably principled. He would use his faith to his political advantage as long as he was being honest. He would say what he needed to say to please religious groups, but he would not attack homosexuals for political advantage. He would bend on most issues, but he would not compromise his core beliefs. He actually did believe he was campaigning to restore dignity and responsibility to the presidency.