December 26th, 2008
06:55 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush loses book race for third straight year, says Rove

Rove bested Bush’s book total for a third straight year.

Rove bested Bush’s book total for a third straight year.

(CNN) - He wasn’t on the ballot this year, but President Bush still lost – to Karl Rove.

For the third consecutive year, Rove has bested Bush in their annual reading contest, the former presidential advisor writes in today’s Wall Street Journal.

The president's reading list this year was weighted towards historical chronicles of conflict, from David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter" and Rick Atkinson's "Day of Battle" to Stephen W. Sears's "Gettysburg" and James M. McPherson's "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief."

It also included President Grant's "Personal Memoirs," Jon Meacham's "American Lion," James M. McPherson's "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief" and Jacobo Timerman's "Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number."

The contest began when Rove made a New Year’s resolution to finish a book a week in 2006. “The competition soon spun out of control. We kept track not just of books read, but also the number of pages and later the combined size of each book's pages - its ‘Total Lateral Area,’” writes Rove.

“At year's end, I defeated the president, 110 books to 95. My trophy looks suspiciously like those given out at junior bowling finals. The president lamely insisted he'd lost because he'd been busy as Leader of the Free World.”

That year’s contest drew headlines over the lengthy list of Bush's books, which reportedly Andrew Roberts’s "History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900," Nathaniel Philbrick’s "Mayflower," and Albert Camus’s "The Stranger," according to Rove.

Bush’s total has dropped each year, says his former advisor: from 95 books in 2006, to 51 in 2007, to just 40 in 2008, with less than a week to go until the end of the year.

Filed under: Karl Rove • Popular Posts • President Bush
soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Linda in MS

    Why is Bush called Dubya? I am serious. I must have missed this info somehow. Really, I don't know what it means.

    December 26, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |


    HUH? WHAT?

    December 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Show Me MO

    Bush is a fine dude. All the haters are simple, narrow-mined, narcissistic losers. I am not a big Obama fan, but I will respect him as a president. That is the difference between an American and a political junkie, numbnut, kool aid drinker. Get lives.

    December 26, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  4. Richard Rohde

    Hey did ya notice that instead of worrying about Husseins golf swing, Fox reported about the $33 million golf course that the UAW built for its "leadership.: Loses millions of dollars every year. How much of our UAW bailout money is going to that?

    December 26, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. deno

    This Rove never stops does he? Does he really expect anyone to believe that this president read anywhere near 95 books in a year. Come on Rove after 8 yrs. the joke is finally over, you don't have to keep on lying about this prez anymore.

    December 26, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. rob in vegas

    really, you expect me to believe he's reading a book a week?
    that's comical in it's own right. but if you really expect the people to believe that, then i've got some sad news for you...

    December 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. Carl Justus

    You mean Bush can actually read??????

    December 26, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. bush hater hater

    What a great country we have: our commander in chief gets excoriated by 99% of this blog's peanut gallery . . . validating the maxim that even the stupidest, least informed, most inconsequential cretins STILL have a voice in our great republic; even if it's stultifyingly predictable.

    You Bush haters do not write: you beat out tattoos on your keyboards like frolicsome chimps. You do not speak: you subvocalize the atavistic gruntings of dyspeptic geep. You do not think: you have random synaptic firings.

    And it'll be a cold day in hell before any one of you can muster two neurons to rub together, much less say anything that's more poignant than a Budweiser burp or a popcorn fart.

    December 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. Tomkat

    Both should be behind bars...

    December 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  10. Adam

    Bush may be a "fine dude." But he was not qualified to be president and now Americans are being punished for their presidential selection(s).

    Two wars, a recession, a trillion dollar deficit, for the first time since the 13 colonies we're exporting raw materials and importing manufactured goods. That sounds a hell of a lot like so-called third world countries.

    "Numbnut koolaid drinkers" elected (sorta) and reelected one of their own. That experiment is thankfully over. We have a political moderate and one of the brightest, most-judicious thinkers ever to occupy the White House.

    December 26, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Chris in Va.

    @ Sue....did you have to go to a special school to learn that or were you born an idiot?

    December 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Nice to know we have so many idiots that can transform their hate and disgust for someone

    December 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. MikeH

    To "Show me MO"

    Dude? What is wrong with you? Look around guy, look at the disasters spawned by this incompetent, ignorant, lying, alcoholic-in-hiding, and just plain fool of a President.

    I don't hate Bush, I hate what he has down to my beloved country.

    What are you, someone paid to say good things about Dubya in a pathetic attempt to rewrite history? Well it ain't gonna work.

    We have not yet hit bottom of the economic disaster that Bush plunged us into. We do not yet know the extent of his attempt to set up a police state, we do not yet know the extent of his involvement with war crimes committed by our government.

    You sir, if you really believe what you posted, are a fool, the kind that Vladimir Lenin referred to as a "Useful Idiot". Go back to computer RPG's on the net.

    December 26, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. republicans hate america

    wow and considering all Bush reads is marvel comics its pretty sad he cant keep up.

    December 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. Maurizio/Rome

    I am not totally in love with Obama and I really think Bush ruined this country, at list for a while. But looking to all is speaches, gaffes and funny faces (look who is talking right, my PM should be in jail) of the last 8 years, it just doesnt fit the person who reads so much, and if he really does read that much, where all this knowledge goes?

    December 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  16. Charles

    Nothing could make me believe that he read these or any other books.

    December 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. just wondering

    the fact remains none of you have listed a single book you've read...just nerds sitting at a computer lambasting a president who at least has tried to make a difference. again what, if any, books have you read? Like him or not, at least the president has has read books of substance rather than insipid blogs and emails.

    December 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. JJTR

    right, right....this makes me laugh. I just WISH, since he's so literate, that he'd submit to ONE interview that questions him about any of those books. I don't think he gets past the Sunday paper cartoons.

    December 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. darby

    Bush should have read "The Presidency: For Dummies" before he turned our country and its economy into some 3rd world catastrophe. If we had a justice system that worked, Rove and his cellmate Cheney would have a lot of time for reading in the time they should serve for their egregious violations of our Constitution.

    December 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  20. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

    This explains what Bush has been doing while the world's economy crashed...

    December 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  21. Perla

    Clearly, this is part of Dubya's attempt to salvage some kind of a legacy. He would have people believe that he reads. And Rove is playing along, as usual.

    They both belong in prison, where they could read LOTS.

    December 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  22. steve

    December 26th, 2008 1:33 pm ET





    ....thats why no child left behind doesn't work. I hope you don't teach english......

    December 26, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. Theresa in Atlanta

    Perhaps both Bush and Rove should have added the Constitution to their reading lists. While they're at it, they should send a copy to Cheney for New Year's.

    December 26, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. Optimist.

    what I want to know is, what are all you republicans doing hanging out at the cnn lounge, did foxnews close early tonight?

    December 26, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |

    @ Linda in MS December 26th, 2008 8:16 pm ET

    Why is Bush called Dubya? I am serious. I must have missed this info somehow. Really, I don't know what it means.

    His middle name, Walker.

    Hence W –"dbl-yoo"

    But us hillbillies-me, Cletus, Brandine, and the rest of the kinfolk down here in the south say "dubya"

    December 26, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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