On Tuesday evening Bob Woodward, author and associate editor of the Washington Post, was the keynote speaker at Missouri Boys State in Hendricks Hall on the campus of the University of Central Missouri. He spoke for approximately twenty minutes, then took questions from the audience for close to an hour.
The first part of the Q and A: Bob Woodward – Missouri Boys State – June 18, 2013 – Q and A, parts 1, 2 & 3 (June 20, 2013)
Bob Woodward, associate editor of the Washington Post, taking questions from the audience
in Warrensburg at Missouri Boys State on the campus of the University of Central Missouri on Tuesday evening.
“…And he takes his hands out and throws them in the air and shrugs like only Bush can…”
Part 4 – on reporting, secret government, on comparing Benghazi and the IRS to Watergate, political polarization:
Part 5 – on Barack Obama, the NSA story, and George W. Bush and Hilary Clinton:
Bob Woodward: …Now, no one asked, uh, this question but I want to answer it. Hilary Clinton, what’s she gonna do? Now, I, uh, got to know her, uh, when she was, uh, First Lady. And, uh, she is, uh, a dynamo. I, I believe, don’t know, that she’ll wind up running. And I want to tell, uh, there’s somebody who’s happy about that. [laughter] And, uh, it’s interesting. What does Bill really think? [laughter] Uh, I suspect he wants her to run. But, I saw, there was a, it was about six years ago, I was giving a talk like this in Washington and she was the other speaker. And, uh, afterwords, uh, she came over and, and said, uh, oh, I quote from one of your Bush books, all that, she’s a senator at this point, uh, gearing up to run for president, didn’t get the nomination that Obama did, uh, several years later. And she said, I quote from one of your Bush books all the time. In fact, I quote so often I should pay you royalties. I stupidly said no rather than how much. [laughter] I said, what do you quote? And she said, well, it’s the second Bush book, Plan of Attack, about how Bush decided to invade Iraq. And, uh, at the end of the book, uh, said, well, what do you quote? And said, the end. And at the end, uh, I’d been interviewing Bush for hours over two days and he’s standing in the Oval Office at the end of the interviews and has his hands in his pockets. And just asks, uh, I just ask, uh, how do you think history will judge your Iraq war? And he takes his hands out and throws them in the air and shrugs like only Bush can [laughter] and, and says, History, we won’t know, we’ll all be dead. [applause] Comforting thought. And, he was ducking the question, but, you know, that’s the, the Gerald Ford story I, I told, uh, in a way that it looks one way, certain era, and it looks quite the opposite, uh, twenty-five years later. So we don’t know. And I remember going home after the interview and my wife said, how was it? And I said, he answered all the questions, but the really good news is I have the ending to the book. Endings are hard to find. And here it’s all about how he made this decision and then the question, how’s this gonna be viewed by history? We don’t know. And, uh, so I asked Senator Clinton, I said, why do you quote that? And, uh, she said, uh, well, George Bush is a fatalist, somebody who just kind of does their thing then they almost let others decide. And she said, you can’t be a fatalist and be President of the United States. And I said, well, Lincoln was a bit of a fatalist. And she, and she got real, uh, intense. Almost lamp throwing intense. [laughter] And, uh, started pounding her fist into her hand. And, uh, said, you can’t think and talk like that and be President of the United States. And, I pushed back a little bit more and she kind of did this, you know, you can’t, I’m telling you, can’t. George Washington would never talk like that. Thomas Jefferson would never ever talk like that. Bill would never talk [laughter] like that. And so, I, my thought was, the new Mount Rushmore…
Missouri Boys State – 2013 (June 16, 2013)
Bob Woodward – Missouri Boys State – June 18, 2013 (June 19, 2013)