Vargas Interview: The Personal Side of President Bush

BUSH: It is spectacular. It is fantastic. Unbelievable.

VARGAS: And how long does that last?

BUSH: They're kind of constantly replanting, so it's a lush and vibrant environment starting in the spring throughout the summer.

VARGAS: And do you come this way often between the Oval Office and the residence?

BUSH: I do, I do. Unless I'm walking the dogs out here in their playground, which is the South Lawn.

VARGAS: How are the dogs?

BUSH: The dogs are comfortable.

VARGAS: As they always seem to be.

BUSH: Not only comfortable but quite independent.

VARGAS: Every time we've been here, we have chronicled some mischief that one or the other has been up to.

BUSH: They're handy in Washington. They don't talk back, they don't argue with you. They're good.

VARGAS: They also just treat you like anybody else. I mean, that must be nice, I mean I'm sure your family does that too.

BUSH: You know, it's interesting, you said that one of the things that we love doing is to invite our buddies up from Texas. And I think about the time we had Jones, Procter and Selee [sic]. These are guys we grew up with in Midland, Texas. They are down to earth, you know, they have no agenda, except being with their friends Laura and George.

VARGAS: They call you George?

BUSH: No, they call me Mr. President.

VARGAS: I was going to say...

BUSH: They probably don't want to call me Mr. President, but they do call me Mr. President. And we sit up there in the White House. First of all, it's a great joy to see their joy about being here. It's a fantastic experience for people to be able to come here.

VARGAS: To come and visit.

BUSH: Yeah.

VARGAS: That's great

BUSH: They're not jaded. The other thing is that they remind us of what's important in life. And that we're not here in this office -- really pretty brief period of time. And yet your friendships which became the foundation of your life last forever. And I'm real pleased that our buddies who were friends before government will be friends after government. No matter what their status is in life. And it's really one of the neat things to do, to welcome people here. Have them come up from West Texas and kind of walk around in their accents and go, "Man, this is something else!"

VARGAS: [With twang] This is great!

BUSH: "This is unbelievable Bush! We can't believe we're here nor can we believe you're here."

VARGAS: Do you alter the White House cuisine when they come? Do you serve BBQ more?

BUSH: No, pretty much, we pretty much keep it the way it is, you know.

VARGAS: One of the great perks living here.

BUSH: That and having a gym above your bedroom.

VARGAS: Now that's a perk! Do you work out everyday?

BUSH: I do. Six days a week.

BUSH: You have to get outdoors.

VARGAS: Single track.

BUSH: You do some of that?

VARGAS: Yeah.

BUSH: We've got three trails close by here that are secure enough for me to ride in, and of course you know I like to be around people so we've got a fairly good size peleton [sic] that rides, and ah, then they're agents and cars and vehicles but none of them get ahead of me so the only thing I see is open spaces, going on a mountain bike.

VARGAS: Just don't look back!

BUSH: Yeah, don't look back.

VARGAS: Posse following you.

BUSH: Then you realize, then, you're still in the bubble, but I really enjoy it and I encourage our fellow citizens to exercise.

VARGAS: It's important.

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