Negroponte: Bush More Intellectual Than You Think

The former intelligence chief says Bush was a prolific reader.

By + More

By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

It still irks some Bushies when people call W "Dumya." The latest defender is the former administration's intelligence chief, John Negroponte, who has also worked with several other presidents. "Some are more intellectual than you think. Bush 43 is in that category," he says. For proof, he embellished the oft-told story about the reading race between the former president and top aide Karl Rove, reports our Suzi Parker. Both carried lists of books they had read and compared them often. Bush, says Negroponte, read "heavy-duty stuff," like French history. "He must have read two to three books a day," says the former aide. Negroponte adds that after hearing this, his anti-Bush brother snorted: "He was just making up for lost time." Ronald Reagan, however, had different smarts. The old actor wasn't very hands on but could learn his lines quickly. "He would read his overnight assignments," says Negroponte.

  • Check out our gallery of Whispers political caricatures.
  • Want your Whispers first? Check out U.S. News Weekly.