I don’t have to file a freedom-of-information act to know what Karl Rove’s public relations plan is for 2005.
Convince the American public that President Bush is smart
Periodically reveal the current book on the President’s nightstand. Occasionally have the President provide his insights on his current readings. Start with Tom Wolfe’s “I Am Charlotte Simmons” and Natan Sharansky’s “The Case for Democracy.”
The following dinner table scenario is the desired end result:
Brother: Bush is a dimwit. He’s not very smart.
Sister: He’s smart. He reads books.
I wonder how close this is to reality. I’m betting it’s not too far off. But the book Bush should really be reading is “Beyond Peace” by Richard Nixon. I’m not a Nixon fan, but I was impressed with his accomplishments in foreign relations so I bought and read this book 11 years ago when it was first published. I browsed through it again this weekend.
I recommend that Bush read a fellow Republican’s writings (besides Wolfe) because they apply today. I cite for example Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972. At the time, for the past two decades, we had been indirectly fighting China in Korea and Vietnam. There also was tremendous concern about China’s nuclear ambitions. It would have been easy for Nixon to take a stand-off position similar to the approach the Bush administration is currently taking with North Korea and Iran. But Nixon knew that, if successful, not only could he reduce tensions with China, he also would accomplish a significant, non-military battle in the Cold War with Russia, then a bitter enemy with China, its neighbor. Certainly, the Kremlin could not have been happy to know that two of its biggest enemies were sipping tea together in Beijing.
Since Bush is now a man of words, perhaps he should use some instead of bombs.