Monday, August 09, 2004
George W. Rush
Interesting tidbit from a Rolling Stone interview with Garry Trudeau, who was President Bush's classmate at Yale. (Via The Morning News.) Make of it what you will.
We both served on the Armour Council, which was the social committee for our residential college. Nobody in my freshman dorm knew what the council was. But I apparently had shown some leadership qualities in the first three or four days of school, so I was elected unanimously. George Bush was chairman. Our duties consisted of ordering beer kegs and choosing from among the most popular bands to be at our mixers. He certainly knew his stuff -- he was on top of it [laughs].
Even then he had clearly awesome social skills. Legend has it that he knew the names of all forty-five of his fellow pledges when he rushed Deke. He later became rush chairman of Deke -- I do believe he has the soul of a rush chairman. He has that ability to connect with people. Not in the empathetic way that Clinton was so good at, but in the way of making people feel comfortable.
He could also make you feel extremely uncomfortable. He was very good at all the tools for survival that people developed in prep school -- sarcasm, and the giving of nicknames. He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation.