Washington (CNN) - Former President George W. Bush appeared relaxed as he talk about his post-presidency life, according to one participant at Friday's kickoff breakfast for the Bush Cheney Alumni Association at a Washington hotel.
In his speech to several hundred people who served in his administration, he also talked about writing his book, due out later this year, and in the process poked fun at himself.
"This is going to come as quite a shock to people up here that I can write a book, much less read one," Bush joked, the one participant told CNN, confirming a quote first reported by Politico. The participant refused to discuss his comments in any more depth since it was a closed press event, and Mr. Bush asked for his remarks not to be leaked.
Bush's spokesman refused to comment on the event.
The former president previously told the Los Angeles Times his aim for the book was to help "people to understand the environment in which I was making decisions ... I want people to get a sense of how decisions were made, and I want people to see the options that were placed before me."
Originally, former Vice President Dick Cheney was also supposed to appear at the Friday event, but canceled because he is still recuperating from his mild heart attack earlier this week. Bush visited Cheney at his home Thursday, marking the first time the two men had seen each other since last year's inauguration. In his speech, Bush said Cheney was feeling well.
Mr. Bush also told the crowd he did want to be seen on television right now as entering the political fray.
"I don't want to be a panel of formers instructing the currents on what to do," Bush told the crowd, according to the source. "I'm trying to regain a sense of anonymity. I didn't like it when a certain former president - and it wasn't 41 or 42 - made my life miserable."