Bush, Man of God

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Blessit-Bush.jpgWead.jpgTake a look at the excerpts from Jacob Weisberg’s new book on President Bush post in Slate today. Weisberg is not the first to get behind the Billy Graham walk-on-the-beach myth, but his version seems to be the best we have so far. Evangelist Arthur Blessit, not Graham, is the guy who made the difference. Best of all is the account of Bush’s relationship with Doug Wead, the sometime Pentecostal minister who did evangelical outreach for his father’s campaign in 1988. Wead’s a curious, excessively outspoken character. (Years ago, he explained to me how the Bush ’88 campaign used religion to do away with the candidacies of Jack Kemp and Pat Robertson.) Weisberg’s portrait of Bush’s religion is neither credulous nor dismissive, but–to my eye–pretty well balanced.