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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Bush mulls life after presidency
President Bush (file picture)
The new book draws on a series of intimate interviews with Mr Bush
George W Bush has considered life after the White House and is very interested in his legacy, reports of interviews with the author of a new book suggest.

"I'll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol' coffers," Mr Bush told Robert Draper, author of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush.

Mr Bush says he "can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch" in Texas.

The book is informed by six intimate conversations with the president.

It is due to be published on Tuesday.

'Freedom Institute'

The New York Times published some short excerpts of the book, and Mr Draper's interviews with the president, on Sunday under an agreement with the author.

I've got God's shoulder to cry on
US President George W Bush

Mr Bush is quoted as saying that - just like his father, ex-President George Bush Sr - he plans on a lecture tour after he leaves office in 2008.

He reveals that his father gets more than $50,000-75,000 per speech and that Bill Clinton is "making a lot of money".

Mr Bush also says he wants to have "a nice place in Dallas" to run what he describes as "a fantastic Freedom Institute" for young democratic leaders from around the world.

'I cry a lot'

In his time in office Mr Bush has rarely talked intimately with journalists about the personal side of his life at the White House.

But in the book he admits to having tough times and feeling isolated in the job.

He says he has sought to fight "self-pity", describing it as "the worst thing that can happen to a presidency".

Mr Bush also quips that "that guy who said if you want a friend in Washington get a dog, knew what he was talking about".

In response to Mr Draper's suggestion that Mr Bush has nobody's "shoulder to cry on", the president says: "Of course, I do, I've got God's shoulder to cry on, and I cry a lot".

"I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count as president".

Iraq mistake

On Iraq, the president admits that a major mistake was to disband the Saddam Hussein-era army.

"The policy was to keep the army intact; didn't happen," he is quoted as saying.

Acknowledging that some of his major decisions were unpopular, Mr Bush says he has pursued strategies he believed in.

"I made a decision to lead. One, it makes you unpopular; two, it makes people accuse you of unilateral arrogance, and that may be true.

"But the fundamental question is, is the world better off as a result of your leadership?"

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