Yet Mr. Obama also expresses exasperation. In private, he has talked longingly of “going Bulworth,” a reference to a little-remembered 1998 Warren Beatty movie about a senator who risked it all to say what he really thought. While Mr. Beatty’s character had neither the power nor the platform of a president, the metaphor highlights Mr. Obama’s desire to be liberated from what he sees as the hindrances on him.
“Probably every president says that from time to time,” said David Axelrod, another longtime adviser who has heard Mr. Obama’s movie-inspired aspiration. “It’s probably cathartic just to say it. But the reality is that while you want to be truthful, you want to be straightforward, you also want to be practical about whatever you’re saying.”
There’ve been — whatever — a hundred, a thousand books on the assassination and they all tell the story of the assassination from Jack Kennedy’s point of view, but in that motorcade, that assassination made Lyndon Johnson president, so he’s a crucial figure in it. … In the front [of Johnson’s car], next to the driver, is a secret service agent named Rufus Youngblood. When the first shot rings out, people think it’s a motorcycle backfiring or they think someone burst a balloon. …
As the shot sounds, Youngblood … looks forward and sees Kennedy sort of falling to the left. He whirls around, and in an instant, he grabs Johnson’s right shoulder and just pushes him down on the back floor of the back seat of the car, jumps over the back of the front seat and lays on top of Lyndon Johnson and Johnson can hear over Youngblood’s radio that connected to the other secret service agents words like, ‘He’s hit! He’s hit!’ ‘Let’s get out of here!’ ‘Hospital!’ and the three cars – Kennedy’s, the secret service agents’ and Johnson’s — roar up a ramp to an expressway, roar down the expressway and then off and into the emergency bay of Parkland Hospital. Youngblood says to Johnson, ‘When we get to that hospital, don’t look around, don’t stop. We’re going to get you to a secure place.”
"For Rey, the only guy that ever hit the president and never got arrested. Barack."
— Barack Obama’s inscription on a series of photos showing Reynaldo Deceraga elbowing the president in the mouth during a 2010 basketball game. Deceraga was not invited to play with Obama again. (via The Boston Globe)
Of course I wouldn’t come to Texas for the Bush library opening without finding out more about the former president’s life as a painter. His friends tell me they “literally” could not believe it when they heard about his new hobby—though now they are all lining up to have him paint portraits of their dogs (via Yahoo News)
Anthony Weiner emerges back into the public eye with a long profile in the NYT magazine. But to me, the story seems less about him than his wife, Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton who rarely speaks to reporters and has been such an enigma throughout this whole scandal. The story is really a must-read for anybody fascinated by the personalities of people who decide to go into public life and what drives them. One tidbit that surprised me was how little time Weiner and Abedin had spent actually together, even after they were married:
“Anthony and I had not spent more than 10 consecutive days together until I was pregnant and we went to Italy and France for two weeks,” she told me. “That was the longest period of time we’d ever spent together. Later, when we thought about it, we didn’t realize that so much of our lives were kind of these snippets of, we see each other for a few days and then are separated.”
"A few months ago we had twins come in, and you can’t believe what they’re named: Winston and Eleanor. [Laughs.] I mean, it’s going back to the glorious days of the thirties and forties, I guess. But these are just darling little infants, and to have such big names on them is really something, although they call them Ellie and Win … When I heard Winston and Eleanor, I thought, It sounds like two English bulldogs, but they’re adorable children."
— Mitt Romney on his newest English bulldogs grandchildren (via Daily Intel)
More than 40 years after Watergate, historians are still combing through the more than 2,300 hours of audio from former President Richard Nixon’s secret White House taping system. A paranoid indulgence for a president obsessed with documentation, the tapes ultimately helped drive the 37th president from office in a scandal that still haunts the country today.
But it turns out it wasn’t just Nixon who had a fondness for documentation in his White House. Locked away in the National Archives for decades were more than 200 reels of home movies featuring Nixon shot by the a trio of his former top aides whose names have become synonymous with the Watergate scandal.
“I think she was actually afraid to look at the short African-American next to her, so she didn’t notice that (Eazy E’s) eyes looked like a couple of all-black marbles. Nobody’s been that stoned in the White House since Gerald Ford’s kid Jack smoked dope on the White House roof. And Eazy had better weed that Jack Ford ever did.”