The Buzz

TheChat: Author Jon Meacham says Bush 41’s comments floored him


Good morning.

▪ “I’m surprised you couldn’t hear me in Kansas City when I fell off my chair.” — author Jon Meacham, who’s out with a new bio of President George H.W. Bush, on his reaction when the former president criticized his son, the 43rd president, for allowing Vice President Dick Cheney to establish his own foreign-policy bureaucracy within the vice president’s office.

Meacham, speaking on KCUR, wrote in his book, “Destiny and Power,” that he did not blame Cheney for this, but the president, his son. “The buck stops there,” Bush told Meacham. For the senior Bush, his words amounted to an extremely rare criticism of a family member. In the book, the senior Bush said Cheney became “very hard-line” during George W. Bush’s administration.

▪ “It is shameful for Senator Blunt to hide from reporters on such a serious matter.” — Chris Hayden, Missouri Democratic Party spokesman, saying Missourians deserve answers from Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, about his campaign-manager son who was just hired by the University of Missouri as a lobbyist.

Andy Blunt will make $10,000 a month under the contract. Hayden pointed out that Blunt and his campaign have so far declined to say much about the arrangement. One question Hayden posed: “Does Senator Blunt believe it is appropriate for his son to solicit new lobbying clients while he serves as his campaign manager and top political adviser?” Hayden is signaling that the contract will be an issue in the 2016 Senate race between Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander.

▪ “The screening process for refugees is the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” — Gov. Jay Nixon declining to bar Syrian refugees from entering Missouri.

Whether governors have such authority is an open debate. Governors were split largely along partisan lines on the question of whether to accept Syrian refugees in the future in the wake of the Paris attacks. Nixon indicated he’s relying on the federal government to do the screening.

▪ “Would’ve been fun.” — President Barack Obama commenting on what a race between himself and Donald Trump would’ve been like.

The president also said he’s feeling more confident and “looser” in the job as he nears the end of his second term.