Woodward Looks Inside Politics

October 23, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
Text Size:
GRAND RAPIDS — In just two and a half hours he asked President Bush 300 questions. In 1973, he and his partner in investigative reporting at the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein, dug to the bottom of the Watergate break-in.

Over the years since the Nixon administration, Bob Woodward has managed to interview nearly every president in office. He spoke yesterday to a crowded Grand Center audience, offering his behind-the-scenes look at the war on terrorism and his inside look at the current presidency.

As the featured speaker for the annual Fifth Third Business Outlook Luncheon, Woodward was there both to promote his new book, “Bush At War,” — coming out next month — and give the crowd a glimpse of what he had encountered in his research for the book with President Bush.

As the assistant managing editor of investigative news for the Washington Post, Woodward has had the opportunity to interview several presidents on a one-on-one basis.

That process also applies to his latest book, where he interviewed President Bush about the war on terrorism and spoke with several other key players involved in the events of Sept. 11 and the year following.

“War is the crucible in which you base the measure of character,” Woodward said. “It is the great discipliner and I think we will truly see what our country and our government is made of in this time of uncertainty.”

During his talks with President Bush and his staff, Woodward was privy to numerous documents pertaining to the war on terrorism and came to many conclusions on the current state of the world.

He said he was able to form a trusting and personal relationship with the President and recounted a few stories explaining the differences he saw in Bush before and after Sept. 11. Woodward describes a “lighthearted” Bush who called him “Woody” before Sept. 11, and a man who gathered strength and stability in the wake of the terrorists’ attacks.

“The goal is to prevent the next 9-11,” said Woodward. “And this (going to war with Iraq) seems to be the way to do it. The President recognizes the importance of that and has the foresight to see that if something isn’t done, it could or would cause mass destruction that would make 9-11 look like a footprint. How, why and who we choose to go to war with is defining of who we are as a country, and now more than ever.”  

Recent Articles by Katy Rent

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus