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Question of the Day
The press conference also offered insights into the psyche of a man who has famously resisted what he calls “navel-gazing.”
Mr. Bush revealed the heavy weight that has laid upon his shoulders for the past eight years, even as he said the burden of the office is “overstated” and mocked the idea of feeling sorry for himself.
“You never escape the presidency. It travels with you everywhere you go. And there’s not a moment where you don’t think about being president, unless you’re riding mountain bikes as hard as you possibly can, trying to forget for the moment,” said Mr. Bush, an avid mountain biker.
He said that Mr. Obama “will feel the effects the minute he walks in the Oval Office.”
“He’ll come back and go through the inauguration and then he’ll walk in the Oval Office, and there will be a moment when the responsibilities of the president land squarely on his shoulders,” he said.
Mr. Bush, who has talked for the past year of “sprinting to the finish,” sounded relieved to be nearing the end of his time in office.
“When I get out of here, I’m getting off the stage,” he said. “I’ve had my time in the klieg lights.”
He spoke of making coffee for his wife on the morning of Jan. 21, the first day he will wake up as an ex-president, but he also said he likely would be back at work that very same day.
In addition to writing a book, Mr. Bush said, he plans to spend a lot of time building his library at Southern Methodist University, which will include a think tank that promotes his freedom agenda.
“I’m a Type A personality, you know, I just - I just can’t envision myself, you know, the big straw hat and Hawaiian shirt sitting on some beach,” he said.
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