Decision Points: Bush Recalls His Lowest Points in New Memoir

Bush was heavily criticized for his handling of Hurricane Katrina.

November 4, 2010, 2:03 AM

Nov. 4, 2010— -- A new memoir from former President George W. Bush reveals some of the most crucial moments in his personal life and eight years in office, particularly his response to Hurricane Katrina.

In "Decision Points," slated for release Tuesday, Bush recalled the images of the storm broadcast worldwide and how much the infamous photo of his looking out a window made him appear out of touch.

"The photo of my hovering over the damage suggested I was detached from the suffering on the ground," Bush wrote. "That wasn't how I felt. But once the public impression was formed, I couldn't change it."

He acknowledged the missteps during the 2005 catastrophe.

"I should have recognized the deficiencies sooner and intervened faster ... the problem was not that I made the wrong decisions, it was that I took too long to decide."

He also reflected on his compliment -- "You're doing a heck of a job" -- to embattled FEMA Director Michael Brown.

He wrote: "I never imagined those words would become an infamous entry in the political lexicon."

The statement would later be ridiculed despite his intention to give Brown a morale boost.

Despite the criticism he received following Hurricane Katrina, Bush wrote, a comment from rapper Kanye West during a live Katrina telethon hit him the hardest.

"George Bush doesn't care about black people," West said.

Bush said he was "disgusted" and "deeply insulted."

In an interview on a Houston radio station, West compared Bush's situation to his own, in the wake of his crashing Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music award acceptance in 2009.

"I definitely can understand the way he feels, to be accused of being a racist in any way, because the same thing happened to me, where I got accused of being a racist ... with him, it was a lack of compassion of him not rushing, him not taking the time to rush down to New Orleans," West said.

Aside from Hurricane Katrina, Bush's book also includes details on strikingly personal battles such as alcoholism.

In the memoir's first chapter, "Quitting," Bush wrote that he was asked, "Can you remember the last day you didn't have a drink?"

In a 2007 interview with ABC News, Bush discussed his decision to quit drinking.

"I had too much to drink one night," he told ABC News at the time. "And the next night, I didn't have any. The next day, I decided to quit."

The book also provided background behind some of his most controversial decisions, such as the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, stem cell research and Dick Cheney as his choice for vice president.

The book ended with what Bush would have done differently about the financial crisis, if given a second chance.

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