W. Stops Drinking & Run After Birthday
"That evening the group split up, and Bush wound his way back to his room. The next morning, it was as bad as ever. Bush woke up with a pounding, churning hangover but somehow managed to go for a run." ("First Son," Minutaglio, page 210)
"I just drank too much and woke up with a hangover. I got out of bed and went for my usual run. For the past fourteen years, I had run at least three miles almost every day. This run was different. I felt worse than usual, and about halfway through, I decided I would drink no more. I came back to the hotel room and told Laura I was through." ("A Charge to Keep," George W. Bush, pages 132-133)
"[Joe] O'Neill realized that there was something else in the abrupt decision Bush made at the spectacular, plush Broadmoor -- one that Laura had been suggesting for years but that Bush had ignored until that crucial summer as the family prepared for the launch of his father's presidential campaign."
"He looked in the mirror and said, 'Someday, I might embarrass my father. It might get my dad in trouble.' And boy, that was it. That's how high a priority it was," O'Neill said. "And he never took another drink." ("First Son," Minutaglio, page 210)***p31_fortieth_birthday.jpgW's 40th Birthday Celebration
To celebrate W's 40th birthday, the "three inseparable Midland power couples" -- the Bushes, Joe and Jan O'Neill (whose backyard barbeque it was where W met Laura), and Don (who was later to become Bush's first Secretary of Commerce) and Susie Evans -- went to the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs.
Laughter and wine ($60 bottles of Silver Oak Cabernet -- see "Laura Bush," Kessler, page 79)) flowed freely, along with genial joshing about Bush's "baseball dreams" --
"When he was growing up, he would wait by the mailbox to see if any big-league players had actually mailed back the baseball cards he had asked them to autograph. He had grown up spouting earned-run averages and slugging percentages at society parties in Houston, in his high school dormitory, at the DKE house, at the National Guard Officers' Club, and on his father's campaign planes, telling reporters that, unlike his father, he didn't harbor any long-term ambitions for the presidency: 'I grew up wanting to be Willie Mays, but I couldn't hit the curveball.'" ("First Son," Minutaglio, page 209, 240)
Call from Poppy
Although the call from his father to come to Washington to help him in his 1988 bid for the presidency came within this timeframe, the actual call was transposed to this scene for dramatic purposes.
As Marlin Fitzwater noted, "The Bushes were very different from the Kennedys in that they would never have their Ted Sorenson. No one outside the family would enter the inner circle."
"That reality was underlined by the conversation that George had with his eldest son. George W. was tougher than the other boys, and George had come to rely on his eldest son for strength. 'George would call young George for advice,' recalls Shellie Bush Jansing. 'He always appreciated George because he knows George's strength. He had a steel ramrod in his back. He would call him when he had a tough decision. It's interesting because Reagan made George do some hatchet jobs that George didn't want to do. He didn't like to do them, so he used to call young George for bolstering up. They've always had that kind of relationship.
George wanted W. to be his enforcer on the campaign. He wanted him to be on-site at campaign headquarters, shadowing the major campaign leaders, participating in the key meetings, briefing him on the dynamics at work in the campaign office.
'What would my title be?' W. asked his father.
'You don't need a title,' he responded. 'Everyone will know who you are.'
With his oil career on hiatus and the energy business in the toilet, W. had the time to devote to the job. Even more important, he had the sort of temperament that his father didn't have the stomach to do." ("The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty," Schweizer, pages 328-329)