MATT LAUER: You remember what he said?
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes, I do. He called me a racist.
A brief excerpt has been posted of Matt Lauer's interview with former President George W. Bush, set to air this Monday night on Matt Lauer Reports.
For a man who dammed the river of scientific progress, choked on a pretzel, ruined public education, declared an ongoing war totes over, held one press conference in four months following the most substantial terrorist attack in American history--and stared it all down with aloof aplomb--getting called a racist by a self-absorbed rapper and blogger was apparently one of the worst moments of his presidency.
[jump] PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: That's -- "he's a racist." And I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now. It's one thing to say, "I don't appreciate the way he's handled his business." It's another thing to say, "This man's a racist." I resent it, it's not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.
MATT LAUER: This from [Bush's upcoming Decision Points] book. "Five years later I can barely write those words without feeling disgust." You go on. "I faced a lot of criticism as President. I didn't like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all time low."
That the President could have his feelings affected so profoundly by Kanye West of all people speaks to a serious and honest defensiveness on the issue of racism. It also signals a massive set of blinders like none the world has ever seen. But that's not even the best part.
During an interview on New York's Hot 97 last night, Kanye West was asked about the Taylor Swift debacle that led a lot of people to see plain his hubris. Here's what he said:
"She just talked about how people would come up to her in the grocery store and really just bring it up, and she would defend me at the grocery store - I'm sorry, defend me in an interview, she said at her grocery store, she was actually defending me. It's an amazing, compelling situation. The situation is bigger to me than the Bush moment..."
One of the starkest memories of Bush's presidency remains little more than a blip on West's radar. Amazing.
And the real winner? Taylor Swift, who sold a million copies of Speak Now this past week and is set to debut at #1 on the sales charts.