Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters

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9780060723835: Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters

A riveting portrait of President Bush as he broadens the war on terror overseas -- and plunges into high-stakes political battles at home

"They misunderestimated me," George W. Bush famously remarked on the eve of his historic presidency. Fractured syntax aside, Bush was right: his detractors misunderstood his appeal to the American public, and underestimated his considerable political skills. In this compelling new book, Bill Sammon reveals how the president is turning these misperceptions to his advantage in the looming showdown with John Kerry and the Bush haters.

As senior White House correspondent for the Washington Times, Sammon has been granted extraordinary access to the president and his closest confidants, from political gurus Karl Rove and Andy Card to foreign policy advisers Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. The result is a compelling chronicle of the second eighteen months of George W. Bush's term, as the administration's focus shifts from al Qaeda and Afghanistan to Iraq and the 2004 election. Sammon's on-the-scene reporting and exclusive interviews with the president and his top advisers reveal how the White House is implementing the most profound shift in U.S. foreign policy in more than half a century, prompting an eminent Democratic historian to rank Bush alongside John Quincy Adams and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as one of America's "grand" strategists.

For the first time, Sammon discloses the president's vow that Kerry will "regret" bad-mouthing the liberation of Iraq, the seminal event in the post-9/11 phase of the Bush presidency. Rove even details for Sammon the White House strategy to paint Kerry as a condescending elitist whose "blatant" attempts to capitalize on his Vietnam experience will ultimately come back to haunt him.

Misunderestimated also meticulously tracks the rise of the Bush haters, a disturbing political phenomenon that colors everything from the war on terrorism to the presidential campaign. The impact extends to the press, which Sammon exposes for racing to brand Operation Iraqi Freedom another Vietnam "quagmire" less than eighteen months after making the same blunder during the Afghan war.

In Misunderestimated, Sammon takes readers inside the Oval Office for historic decisions of war and peace, aboard Air Force One for a daring, surprise descent into Baghdad, and even on an intimate tour of Bush's beloved Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. It's a mesmerizing account of a president determined not to repeat his father's two fundamental mistakes -- abandoning Iraq and failing to vanquish the Democrats.

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Review:

President George W. Bush is an avid reader of the newspaper sports section but tries to stay away from hard news. That is one of the revelations of Washington Times senior White House correspondent Bill Sammon’s book Misunderestimated. "I don't watch the nightly newscasts on TV," says the President, "nor do I watch the endless hours of people giving their opinion about things. I don't read the editorial pages; I don't read the columnists. It can be a frustrating experience to pay attention to somebody's false opinion." Bush's reading habits prompted world-wide headlines when Misunderestimated came out, but interestingly, Sammon doesn't think they speak badly about Bush. In fact, he cheers Bush for ignoring the journalists who, he believes, have misrepresented and underestimated the president. In this angrily written book, Sammon attempts to set the record strait and expose the media for the left-wing "Bush-hating" cabal he insists it is.

Sammon allows that the leader of the free world may not be a genius of grammatical English. But he argues that Bush will be remembered not for his malapropisms (the best example of which is probably his coining of the term "misunderestimated") but rather for setting the U.S. on a new aggressive path of "pre-emptive" self-defense and disdain for international bodies like the United Nations. Sammon is incensed by anti-Bush attitudes he sees in the media and among Democrats, who he says are "hopelessly mired in the gutter." Yet, Sammon himself comes off as devotedly partisan, too, as he breathlessly writes of hiking at the president’s ranch in Texas and being playfully teased by Bush at a White House briefing. Misunderestimated will appeal to the President's supporters, but others may find it too strident and wonder whether all of Sammon's tract can be taken at face value. --Alex Roslin

From the Inside Flap:

"They misunderestimated me," George W. Bush famously remarked on the eve of his historic presidency. Fractured syntax aside, Bush was right: his detractors misunderstood his appeal to the American public, and underestimated his considerable political skills. In this compelling new book, Bill Sammon reveals how the president is turning these misperceptions to his advantage in the looming showdown with John Kerry and the Bush haters.

As senior White House correspondent for the Washington Times, Sammon has been granted extraordinary access to the president and his closest confidants, from political gurus Karl Rove and Andy Card to foreign policy advisers Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. The result is a compelling chronicle of the second eighteen months of George W. Bush’s term, as the administration’s focus shifts from al Qaeda and Afghanistan to Iraq and the 2004 election. Sammon’s on-the-scene reporting and exclusive interviews with the president and his top advisers reveal how the White House is implementing the most profound shift in U.S. foreign policy in more than half a century, prompting an eminent Democratic historian to rank Bush alongside John Quincy Adams and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as one of America’s "grand" strategists.

For the first time, Sammon discloses the president’s vow that Kerry will "regret" bad-mouthing the liberation of Iraq, the seminal event in the post-9/11 phase of the Bush presidency. Rove even details the White House strategy to paint Kerry as a condescending elitist whose "blatant" attempts to capitalize on his Vietnam experience will ultimately come back to haunt him.

Misunderestimated also meticulously tracks the rise of the Bush-haters, a disturbing political phenomenon that colors everything from the war on terrorism to the presidential campaign. The impact extends to the press, which Sammon exposes for racing to brand Operation Iraqi Freedom another Vietnam "quagmire" less than eighteen months after making the same blunder during the Afghan war.

In Misunderestimated, Sammon takes readers inside the Oval Office for historic decisions of war and peace, onto Air Force One for a daring, surprise descent into Baghdad, and even on an intimate tour of Bush’s beloved Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. It’s a mesmerizing account of a president determined not to repeat his father’s two fundamental mistakes – abandoning Iraq and failing to vanquish the Democrats.

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Sammon, Bill
Published by William Morrow (2004)
ISBN 10: 0060723831 ISBN 13: 9780060723835
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Book Description William Morrow, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110060723831

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