In the January 19, 2004 issue of TIME, there will be a review of the book The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill. Reviewed by John F. Dickerson, the book discusses life close to the president as plans for the Iraq war were discussed. It is an insider look at how this administration works, and it is not a pretty sight. Here is a quote from the Dickerson review:
"From his first meeting with the President, O'Neill found Bush unengaged and inscrutable, an inside account far different from the shiny White House brochure version of an unfailing leader questioning aides with rapid-fire intensity. The two met one-on-one almost every week, but O'Neill says he had trouble divining his boss's goals and ideas. Bush was a blank slate rarely asking questions or issuing orders, unlike Nixon and Ford, for whom O'Neill also worked. "I wondered from the first, if the President didn't know the questions to ask," O'Neill says in the book, "or if he did know and just not want to know the answers? Or did his strategy somehow involve never showing what he thought? But you can ask questions, gather information and not necessarily show your hand. It was strange." In larger meetings, Bush was similarly walled off. Describing top-level meetings, O'Neill tells Suskind that during the course of his two years the President was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people.""