Did George W. Bush really summon his African-American secretary of state for a lesson on junior-high-level racial politics?
So reports Newsweek‘s Richard Wolffe in his new book on Obama, Renegade: The Making Of A President.
Bush found himself perplexed by the flap over Joe Biden describing Obama as “articulate and bright and clean” in January 2007. So, naturally, the president turned to the top U.S. diplomat, the trusted Condi Rice, to explain what the heck this was all about.
Here’s the tidbit from the first chapter of Wolffe’s book:
Bush was so taken aback with the public criticism of Biden that he called in his African American secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Condi, what’s going on?” Rice told him what everyone else had said: that white people don’t call each other articulate.
One has to ask: can we really blame Bush for not knowing the conventions attached to that particular adjective?