W. (2008) Script

And now...

...ladies and gentlemen...

...the 43rd president of the United States...

...George W. Bush.

Axis of Hatred? I know.

Something about it...

...just misses. Any other brilliant ideas?

How about Axis of Weasels?

Don't get cute, Karl. This is serious now.

I think it needs to be stronger.

Just cut through the noise. Like Reagan with the 'Evil Empire' speech.

Well, is it too much then to...?

What about Axis of Evil?

Axis of Evil?

Evil? Yeah, I like the ring of that. That's good.

Mr. President, 'axis' brings up World War II.

You can't link Germany and Japan with Iraq and North Korea.

No, I... I disagree, Colin.

Weapons of mass destruction make these countries more dangerous.

We gotta begin educating the public about this war and its implications.

You have an approval rating of more than 80 percent now.

It's just astounding.

Not since Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor.

The American people want revenge. They liked Afghanistan.

They want more.

Mr. President, if I may?

Given your strong commitment to democracy...

...do you think that Iran should be lumped together...

...with Iraq and North Korea?

After all, Iran has a democratically elected president.

As always, Guru, sharp. Thank you.

Iran is not Iraq and Iraq is not Iran. I know that.

If we can get one democracy going in one of these places, Iran, Iraq?

Reagan was right. It's gonna spread to all these countries...

...because people want freedom.

With this message, we're sending strong word to reformers in Iran...

...to turn on these deadbeat dead-enders...

...these ayatollah cockamamies. Iran stays in.

When you make threats, sir, you have to back them up.

You'd be committing us to planning...

...three fully operational wars with three countries.

No, I'm not saying war. I'm saying lay down the law.

But the speech as written is taking a preemptive posture...

...against countries, none of whom declared war on us.

For 60 years now, this country...

...has operated under a principle of containment.

That's a defense, general, not an offense.

How are you gonna contain 100,000 lunatics...

...running around with fake passports...

...from country to country, looking for nukes, anthrax?

Containment don't hold water as far as I'm concerned.

We're gonna get hit again. We all know that.

Unless we go out there, hit them hard, and we hit them first.

Well, containment won us the Cold War.

Some people might just say that Reagan won the Cold War, general.

And it started with the 'Empire of Evil' speech.

What do you think?

Oh, Mr. President, you know I don't do nuance. It's just not my thing.

I'll keep to the big picture if you don't mind.

I do. Brother George?


Well, actually there's about 80,000 of them, terrorists, in about 80 countries.

My point exactly.

And I'm sure you realize, of course, what complicates things is...

...it wasn't Iran or Iraq who attacked us.

It was Osama bin Laden.

I know it was bin Laden, George. You know as well as I do...

...there's more terrorists out there...

...than a religious nut in a cave in Pakistan.

Wolfie, you got that look on your face. Well, sir, to get back to the point...

...Iran is the issue here.

It is the mothership of terrorism.


Sir, as you know, I don't view this issue as a matter of choice.

Since 9l11, there's no going back.

Well, then...

...we'll go with Axis of Evil. Yes, Mr. President.

And now I'm tired of this sentence.

All right, before we go, let's all take a moment.

You too, turdblossom.

Do infants enjoy infancy...

...as much as adults enjoy adultery?

Let's go. Go.

Why do kamikaze pilots wear seat belts?

Because the Japs are crazy.

That's wrong. And you all suffer.

Buxenhall, you worthless piece of horseshit.

Sing 'The Whiffenpoof Song. '

I can't hear you. Louder.




...enjoying ourselves, I see. Yeah.

Good evening, young fellow Delta Kappsters in waiting.

This is pledge week.

If you make the grade, you'll become a brother.

Delta Kappa brothers are men of honor...


...and God-given character.

Yeah. Yeah.

That, along with our family fortunes, is why we rule the world. Right, Jimmy?



...until you are Delta Kappsters...

...you are all still pieces of garbage.

You, Buxenhall, quick.

How many of these brothers do you know?

Name every brother in this room. Now.


...Hotchkiss, Austin, Hill, Coors.

No good. Sanders...

Seven. Seven out of 40. That's it?

Maybe you'll remember better with a drink.


And what about you?

You think you can do any better, Mister Pussy?

Yes, sir. Are you ready for your bath?

I think I can do better.

Let's hear.

'Cape Cod' Cartner...

...Scotty 'Scotch and soda' Sonnenberg...

...Paul 'Putting-on-the-Rich' Richardson...

...Jackie 'Jambalaya' Jackson...

...Paul 'Poodle' Johnson...

...Marky 'Pit Bull' Phillips, Ollie 'Octopus' Givens...

...John 'Cranky' Olinger...

...Sammy 'Sloppy Seconds' Woods, Jeremiah 'Crusher' Adams...

...Howie 'Gringo' Givens...

...Adam 'Lazy' Greenwood...

We have got a working brain here. Yeah.

He may be from Texas...

...but he's gonna be one great Delta Kappster.

Sir, I'm working for that.

You legacy?

Yeah, father, grandfather, all the way back to great, great grandfather.

Yeah, for any ignoramuses who don't know...

...his grandfather Prescott...

...is our esteemed senator from Connecticut.

My father's running for Congress in Texas.


Planning on following in their footsteps there, Bushie?

Hell, no. No way in the world I'd wanna do that.

Congressman George Bush.

May I please speak with my son?

Daddy's on the phone. Hey, tell your mom I said hi.

Wait here. I'll be right back. Help us out here, Bush.

I'll be right back. Don't forget about us.

Hello, Pop. Is that you?

What's this about?

What kind of trouble you in now?

Oh, it's penny ante. I swear, Poppy.

Hey, we beat Princeton.

Won the darn championship.

We were tearing down the goal posts. I was hanging on the crossbar.

But they arrested me on account of me being head cheerleader, I'm sure.

Hill and Dowling had great games. I mean, we kicked their butts.

The only thing better than beating Princeton, beating Harvard.

You beat both of them when you won the championship.

Went to the first College World Series.

The first two college national championships.

Forty-seven and '48. Right after you were born.

There are still photos of you...

...and that team up on the walls of Delta Kappa.

Tell you, things in this life you wish you could go back, do over.

I could field, but I couldn't hit.

Went 0 for 3 against Cal in the finals.

How history goes.

Still, you were on the greatest Yale baseball team of all time.

My father would've kicked the crap out of me...

...if I ended up where you are now, Junior.

They're gonna let me go, Poppy.

I have to get out of New Jersey and promise never to come back.

Which is okey-dokey with me.

Don't work that way, Junior.

Not to me, not to this family.

Now, I'm getting you out of this, this time.

I don't wanna get any more phone calls like this again.


You hear me? Yes, sir.

Where is your grease gun? It's up there.

Quit messing with me.

Manuel. Get your butt back in here.

I thought you just wanted me to go up there just now.


What happened? I think the bearing stopped.

Hey, watch this for me, will you? Okay.

Watch it. Okay.

Hey, Miguel.

Is that too hot? Yeah.


I need some help out here.

Bush, what you doing off the floor? Shift's not over till 1800.

I'm having a drink, sir.

Get back there. The motor's overheating.

I need every swinging dick I got.

Yeah, I know that. But, sir, you see, I'm about parched.

You know, I just need a couple of minutes here.

You already had your break. This ain't some fancy-ass Ivy League school.

Now, haul that butt of yours back out to your motor...

...before something else happens.

All right. You know, sir...

...I think this butt of mine just quit. That the way you want it?

That's fine with me. Get your ass off my rig.

I'll just get the next coach out.

Thank you.

Look, how many times do I gotta tell you? You are my gal.

I mean, I'm as happy as a rabbit in a carrot patch with you.

But you never say the words.

What words?

The L word.

The L word? What, lesbian? You're no lesbian.

What future are we gonna have if you're always joking?

Come on, Fran, I'm crazy about you.

Okay? We're gonna go back to Houston.

We're gonna have a big church wedding. All the trimmings. All of it.

What kind of church?

I grew up Episcopalian. I grew up Presbyterian...

...and then I turned into Episcopalian.

Well, I'm a Baptist.

Episcopalian, Baptist, what the hell does it matter?

You're gonna be one of us, a Bush. How does that sound, sweetheart?

You mean it? You swear it?

Look, then we're gonna move to New York. You ever been there?

Bright lights, big city. It's even bigger than Dallas.

I'm gonna work on Wall Street. I got an uncle who's gonna set me up.

Told me, 'Just say the word. '

You gotta picture a boatload of money.

We're gonna be on a big boat with lots of money.

New York? Yup.

I never dreamt of that.

Start dreaming now.

George. Yeah?

Are you proposing to me?

If I had a rock big enough, I'd give it to you right now.

Freddie Mac, here we go, two more shots.

Oh, I love this song. Come on, honey.

Come on. Get on up here, girl. What are you doing? You're crazy.

Come on, baby.


Come on, my boy.

Damn right, brother.

See you later, George. Tell Barbara hi. Junior.

Thanks for coming. W.

Hey, guys.

Tell him... Tell him that I won't be able to do that till 3.

No, that's the soonest I can do it.

And hold my phone calls.

Let's see now. Sit down.

If I remember correctly, you didn't like the sporting-goods job...

...or the oil-rig job.

Working in the investment firm wasn't for you either.

That ranch-hand thing, Arizona. That sure didn't last long.

Didn't exactly finish up...

...with flying colors in the Air National Guard, Junior.

We're still not out of that one.

Now this gal, Suzie. Shooting off her mouth about you knocking her up.

Wait. How did you know about that? Word gets around, boy.

That's a danged lie, Poppy.

I used a condom. I'm not dumb.

What are you cut out for?

Partying, chasing tail, driving drunk?

What do you think you are? A Kennedy?

You're a Bush. Act like one.

You can't even hold a job.

We always worked for our living.

It's time you joined the rest of us...

...and decided what it is you're gonna do with your life.

I know, Poppy.

I'm just having a devil of a time trying to figure it out.

Well, then figure it out soon, Junior.

Your brother Jeb graduates Phi Beta Kappa.

What did you get? Cs?

You only get one bite at the apple.

Well, Jeb's not me and I don't wanna be Jeb, Poppy.

Look, what I'd really love...

I mean, what I'd really love to do is to find something in baseball.

What? You can't play.

Coach? You're fishing for the moon in the water.

Something real.

I started out in the oil fields. I was hoping that...

No, I'll try harder, Poppy, I promise.

No, I can do it.

Can you? Can you really?

You agreed to work for a period of time...

...and you haven't kept your word once. Not once.

In our family, the Bush family...

...we honor our commitments.

I'll take care of this...

...young woman.

You disappoint me, Junior.

Deeply disappoint me.

Is that it?


Almost three minutes behind, Rafael. Pick up the pace.

My running times are better than ever since the Afghan invasion.

I'm back down from 7-minute miles to the 6:45s.

I mean, honestly, I'm probably the fastest president in history.

I heard your father was a pretty good runner too.

Yeah, second fastest, maybe.

He had endurance, but not my kind of speed.

What about Clinton?

My mother waddles faster than that lardass.

And my pulse is only 35I 40. You need to get in shape, Vice.

We need you around. Three heart attacks is three too many.

Thank you.

Mr. President...

...if there was an E. coli breakout in a produce farm in Maryland...

...would you take the chance of eating the lettuce in that sandwich?

Why are you bringing this up?

I mean, you know I got tasters in the kitchen.

If there was a 1 percent chance of you dying, sir...

...would you eat the lettuce in that sandwich?

One percent?

No. Probably not.

Most people wouldn't, sir.

And that's the dark side.

The 1 percent chance of a nuclear attack, or an anthrax epidemic...

...or God help us, a smallpox outbreak.

We'd have 200 million Americans dead on our hands.

Why are you bringing this up at lunch?

Vice, I mean, you know I agree with you on this.

Because I'm more worried now than I was on 9l11.

And you know how disorganized we were.

I just wanna know where you're going with this.

Mr. President...

...this is a fulcrum point in history. Your presidency.

The Middle East, 9l11, homeland security.

Everything is coming together like a perfect storm.

Now, with all due respect, sir...

...I don't think this executive branch is ready for that.

Didn't we get the Patriot Act through? Doesn't go far enough, sir.

All right, Vice, so, what do you want me to do that I haven't already done?

I mean, look, we're on top of the banks, the telecoms, the databases...

...these Internet carriers.

We're tracking, what, a billion phone calls a day?

We got this Guantanemera open. Guantanamo.

Nobody's gonna be hearing from those people for a long time.

Sir, I served your father.

And he was an able and honorable man.

And he won the Iraq war.

But he, myself and Powell...

...we let that momentum slip away.

And if we hadn't...

...we wouldn't be looking down the barrel of another 9l11.

I told my father the same thing back then:

'Take the sucker out. '

So, what do you think the odds are that Saddam's got nukes?

Well, according to our sources, 90 percent.

But even if it was 1 percent... You don't have to sell me.

We gotta sell the American people...

...okay, and Colin.

The Commander in Chief doesn't have to sell anything.

He has constitutionally unlimited power in wartime.

And you have the capacity to do anything you see fit.


What's that thing you got there?

This is a sign-off.

It authorizes us...

...to use 'interrogation techniques...

...against unlawful enemy combatants...

...with maximal effective persuasion. '

Like pulling out their toenails?

No sir. Enhanced interrogation techniques...

...means utilizing fear scenarios...

...like dogs or isolation...

...or simulated drowning or sleep deprivation...

...or enforced stress positions, but nothing fatal.

Kind of reminds me of my fraternity days.

Remember, we don't use torture in this country.

No torture.

But it includes our citizens too.

If they are aiding and abetting terrorist organizations.

Makes sense.

Still, I can see all these latte-sipping lefties going nuts again.

The Kyoto bullshit was bad enough.

Now it'll be all the sobbing over the Geneva Convention.

Let me take a look at it.

Only three pages? Good.

The Office of Legal Counsel is with us on this one.

I got it, Vice, I'll look at it. If we sign this week...

...with Congress in recess, we're gonna have less nonsense.

I said, I'll look at it. Okay.

I'll let you finish your lunch.

Oh, Vice...

...when we're in meetings with others...

...I just want you to keep a lid on it.

I thought I was, sir.

No, you heard me. Just keep your ego in check.

You know, because, remember, I'm the president.

I'm the decider.

I totally agree, sir. Okay.

Ninety, 45, 90 is the plan, sir. Two hundred and twenty-five days.

Ninety for prep.

Moving 150,000 troops into Kuwait...

...building the airfields, moving equipment.

Then air strikes for 45 days.

Then 90 days of ground combat. A hundred and fifty thousand men?

I mean, I'm not looking to play small ball here, Tommy.

We put 500,000 pairs of boots on the ground, Desert Storm.

We planned for any possibility.

I think the Pentagon can wrestle this thing down to 100,000.

Go light. Like Afghanistan.

Blitz the bejesus out of them from the air.

Total shock and awe, Mr. President.

Shock and awe. I like it. I like that.

So when can we go?

Well, January, February, March is best.

What about April, May, June?

No, you can't start a war in Iraq after March.

They got scorchers out there, burn the hide off a scorpion.

All right. I can run in that kind of heat.

Not with a biohazard suit on, you can't, sir.

I like the cut of your jib, Tommy.

I don't mean to rain on Tommy's parade here, sir.

If you go through with this, you're gonna be the owner...

...of 26 million Iraqi people standing around looking at us.

You break it, you own it. And I can tell you something.

You need to understand.

It's gonna suck the oxygen right out of everything you do.

It will become your first term.

Your father weighed this when we weighed the merits of the Gulf War.

Well, that may be so, Colin, but my dad's fishing at Kennebunkport...

...and Saddam's still dicking us around.

I didn't say we're going yet.

I still think we can use that 52nd card, you know...

...proof that he's got the WMDs.

You mean the 53rd card, sir, the joker?

No, that would be you, Brother George.

Hey, whoa, fellas.

I think we missed the side road.

Sir, I presume we'll win this war.

Then what?

What is our exit strategy?

Well, the DOD has already drawn up initial plans for a post-Hussein era...

...which would include the exercise of democracy and a free-market economy.

Well, I'm glad State's been consulted.

What type of government is DOD talking about putting in Iraq?

Come on, Spotty. Make me proud, girl.

Look, fellas, in the end it's about freedom.

A free country is a peaceful country.

My dream is to see peace break out all over the Middle East.

So any kind of government will do. As long as it's a democracy.


Yeah, the cars are this way.

Half a mile maybe. Follow me.

Boy, we're not seeing that guy today.

Well, this is a guy who got hurt in practice...

So just a lot of development there.

He wasn't the starter for the first half of the season...

...so he's continuing to evolve.

They're at 11, they need to get to the 25.

Randall under pressure, the ball is loose...

...and Texas has it.

Yes. Will go all the way, touchdown...

Yes. ... Longhorns.

Redding knocked it loose...

...and Jackson cashes in.

Hey, give me that, little brother.

That's enough.

That's enough.


We're here.

We made it. Yeah.

Come on.

Marvin, go to your room.

Do what your dad says. What the hell...

...do you think you're doing? What?

He's only 15.

I've had just about enough of your crap.

You had enough of me?

I'm mighty glad to hear that.

Because I've had enough of you...

...for a lifetime...

...and then some. My advice to you, Junior:

Get yourself to an AA meeting. Get help.

Thank you, Mister what, Perfect, Mr. War Hero, Mr. God Almighty.

Don't you talk to your father that way.

I'll talk to him however I want to.

When in tarnation is this boy gonna get out of his own way?

How many chances do you expect us to give?

Can't you talk to me?

Well, why do you tell her? That's it. Let's go.

Mano a mano.

You and me. Right here. Right now.

You want an ass-whipping? Yeah.

I'll give it to you. Jeb, do something.

Both of you, just stop it.

Have you lost your minds? Try it, old man.

Go ahead. Take a swing. Hey, calm down.

Don't you realize he was out celebrating?

He just got into Harvard Business. What?

George, why didn't you tell us?

Because I ain't going.

Okay? I just wanted to show you all that I could do it. Get in.

Love me now? Calm down. He'll...

He'll change his mind.

I wouldn't count on it, Jebbie, old boy.

George. You scared me half to death.

All right, now, he got into Harvard. Will you give him a little credit?

Of course he got in. Who do you think pulled the strings?

You did.

That's 20. Stay in.

How about that?

Excuse me. Excuse me.

All right. Here we go.

Oh, come on.

My income for the week.

Bush, you're just fleecing us tonight.

You're better at poker than finding oil.

Is it my fault the good Lord didn't put oil where I been digging?

Don't ask us to invest any more in your dry well.

Hey, Corn Dog. You remember this.

You invest in me, you'll get your money back and plenty more.

Better start shaking that money tree somehow.

Well, the great peanut farmer and rabbit hunter, Jimmy Carter...

...sure ain't helping. Solar panels on the roof of the White House?

Big government taxes are back, boys.

Amen to that.

Hope and pray your daddy can take him out in 1980.

He's gotta get past Reagan first.

Your dad's a true statesman.

He can take out that Hollywood actor, right, W?

Hey, Jimmy, what if I tell you...

...that I'm ready to get in the family business myself.

You're not talking about oil now?

No, I ain't. No, I'm ready to take a shot.

Because a sign has come unto me.

What has come unto you?

This July 6th, what notable event happened right here in West Texas?

You're birthday, wasn't it?

We already celebrated.

Yes, and George Mahon announced...

...his retirement from Congress after 44 years.

That's right. What a coincidence.

This, and right on my birthday.

And now that he's gone, boys, the 19th District...

...is in play for a Republican.

And that Republican is going to be...?

Yours truly, Skeeter.

Hope you don't forget us little people when you're in the Capital.

Well, saddle up our horses, boys, and send George W. to Washington.

Hey. What I like to hear.

Both of them? That would be Bush City.

Bush City.


Thank you. All right, you all gotta meet...

...my husband. This is Don. Don Evans.

How do you do? I'm Don Evans.

Oh, George.

Hey, Suzie, how are you?

Good to see you. Skeeter.

What's up, Bush? How you doing?

Can I get that beer, Jan? Thank you, honey.

You give me that laundry right here.

I have to borrow him for one...

Laura. Yo, give me a burger, will you?

You got it. Yeah? All right.

Laura, come here.

I'd like for you to meet George Bush Jr.

Laura Welch. You can call me anything but Junior.

You know, I remember seeing you in school.

We were in the 7th grade together at San Jacinto Junior High.

San Jacinto, yeah.

Year after I moved to Houston.

I don't know how I could have missed seeing someone as pretty as you are.

Because I wasn't a cheerleader. That could be it.

I've only been trying to get you two to meet for years.

Joe, can you put some more burgers on the barbecue?

Dang. Two with cheese. I'll get the drinks.

I gotta go give him a hand.

George, got your clean laundry ready for you on the way out.

Thanks, hon. And thanks for saying it out loud.

So, what do you do, Laura?

I read, I smoke, I admire.

When you do admire, you admire what?

People who write, who read. I'm a librarian.

Actually, I'm reading something right now.

Yeah, a very engaging book.

Oh, what is it?

Barry Goldwater's Conscience of a Conservative.

Jan. Don't tell me.

I worked on Gene McCarthy's campaign. And voted for LBJ.

Oh, no. No.

Well, looks like we're hitting it off like grease hits the skillet.

Well, I don't think politics should define a human being.

There's more to people than just how they vote.

I like that. I like that. You're open-minded.

Yeah, much more so than me, I have to say.

Well, I just think it's important to see all sides of a situation.

I read in the paper that you're running for Congress.

Yes, ma'am, I am.

I don't believe in forcing myself on people.

So that's why I'm just gonna ask for your phone number, not your vote.

Oh, well, I couldn't vote for you, anyway.

I live in Austin.

Not that I wouldn't consider it.

Well, thank you for that.

But if you win... Yeah? please do something for education.

I was a teacher. I believe that's the thing...

...that can make a difference in people's lives.

Well, I'll tell you what. If I win, you can be my education advisor.

Yeah, right. No, no, no. I'm serious.

I like the way you think, you know?

And look.

You're a devil.

Devil in a white hat.

My daddy and granddaddy were farmers.

They didn't have anything to do with this mess we're in.

Bush's daddy and granddaddy have been in politics his whole life.

They don't know what people's suffering is about.

George Bush here hasn't earned the living he enjoys.

I stand on my own two feet, make my own living.

When it comes to the integrity of my father...

...what mess are you talking about?

Washington is the way it is...

...because of the Yale and Harvard fellas running the place.

I went to Texas Tech, you went to Yale.

I went to UT Law, you went to Harvard.

I've spent half my life in Midland. I know the problems of the people here.

Yeah, maybe at the country club.

You're still an outsider as far as we're concerned.

Mr. Hance will be nothing...

...but a tax-and-spend errand boy for the Democrats...

And he's really a carpetbagger from Connecticut.

That's below the belt, even for you. It's God's truth.

Carpetbagger? This is my home. I've been here in Midland since I was 2.

You're still an Easterner as far as we're concerned. East don't mix with Texas.

My fellow Christians...

My fellow Christians everywhere from Odessa to Lubbock...

...last week, Mr. Bush here used some of his vast sums of money...

...to throw a beer bash for underage students at Texas Tech.

A Bush Bash.

He's trying to get students to vote for him...

...by offering free alcohol to them. Bribing them with booze.

Well, you've had a beer or two in your lifetime.

Hell, yeah, but I'm not drinking with kids.

That may be the cool thing to do at Yale...

...but not here in good Christian country.

He just kept hammering away at me, you know?

The same lame stuff, tarring and feathering me about my father.

My father. What am I supposed to do? Run as Sam Smith?

Your family name has its advantages and its disadvantages, W.

Now, I'd still be with you if you were Sam Smith.

There's gotta be intelligent people that can see through him.

They should, but he was so busy attacking you.

I got in some licks before he threw the dirty tricks there at the end. Right?

Well... What, you don't agree?

Your mother told me never to criticize a politician's speech.

Honey, look, I got a thick hide.

You can tell me the truth.

Come on.

What, it was all bad?

It wasn't good.

Why did you do that?

That was crazy.

I told you I can take criticism.

You see, I'm already over it. The car isn't.

Do not ask me for my opinion on your speeches again.

Honey, look, I'm gonna be asking you for a long, long time.

Not while we're driving then, please.

I never dated a woman quite like you, you know that?

Hey, I think...

I think you are the gal for me.

Look, you're one of the greatest listeners I've ever met.

And since I'm one of the biggest talkers, it seems like a genuine fit.

What do you think, huh?

It kind of does. Only kind of?

More than kind of. Yeah.

The polls have now closed and it looks like Democrat Kent Hance...

...has defeated Republican candidate George W. Bush...

...in the race for the 19th Congressional District.

And while Bush garnered a respectable 47,497 votes...

...Hance swept into the lead with 53,97...

Well, look at it this way.

You came closer than any Republican ever has in this district.

First is first and second is nothing.

At least we won here in Midland.

The people who know you best voted for you.

I should've stuck it right back up his butt. That's what I should've done.

Geo, you wanted to play fair.

You didn't wanna get in the gutter. Even though you lost...

...you can hold your head up. Laura, politics is not a library.

It's a kick-ass, skull-crushing war, and I lost.

You'll get him next time. If there is a next time.

George. Look, I'll tell you one thing.

There's no way I will ever be out-Texaned or out-Christianed again.

How's it going, word guys? You gotta get cracking...

...on my foreign-policy speech tomorrow. I need the draft by tonight.

You'll get it. We just have to get our guy at the NSC to sign off on it.

All right. You get your guys, you get Tenet, then I decide.

I'm going to bed after Sports Cap, so I want it in my room by 8 pm. latest.

No excuses now. Yes, Mr. President.

Come on, sit down, get writing.

You think we can get this stuff in?

If we can't, we can always leak it to the Times.

All right. Let me get our guy on the horn.

Just to be safe, I wouldn't say 500, I would say up to 500 metric tons.

Continue. 'Some ask why Iraq...

...is different from countries that also have terrible weapons.

While there are many dangers in this world...

...the threat from Iraq stands alone. '

I'll have to have this approved by the agency. Let me fax it to Langley.

I'll get in touch with Tenet.


George, it only takes about 10 tons of yellow cake...

...to produce enough uranium for a single nuclear weapon.

Hank, I have already gone over this...

...with the vice president's office and DOD.

This information comes from a single foreign source.

It has not been confirmed.

Besides, Hank...

...it's not solid enough to be out front with. Take it out.

You're sure?

I just can't go with it.

Get me Mike again.

Yeah? You have to take out the red meat...

...but leave all the spice you can.

Okay, thanks.

Slight change of plans. It's out.

We got a lot of work to do before Sports Cap.

So, Karl, how long is this History Channel thing gonna take?

Card scheduled it for 45 minutes. Come on, Spotty, this one's for you.

God. Spotty's getting old.

She needs a seeing-eye dog for herself.

You know, once she was a great athlete.

You should have seen her. She was like the DiMaggio of dogs.

So you remember your lead? Yup.

Ronald Reagan believed that everything happened for a reason...

...and that we should strive to know and do the will of God.

Looks like your balls have been put through the wringer, Ari. What's up?

Helen Thomas. Barney...

...how many times do I gotta tell you? Stay back.

And what else did I write down? Berlin Wall.

Right. Cold War.

Reagan didn't say, 'Mr. Gorbachev...

...will you take down the top three bricks off the Berlin Wall?'

He said, 'Tear it down. Tear it all down. ' And so they did.

Good boy, Barney. Memory's still the greatest, sir.

You know, I'm a lot more like him than my father.

And the world has to know clearly where America stands.


What's that old battle-ax, Helen Thomas, ragging on about now?

Did she say anything about, you know, Iraq?

She was talking about secret plans...

...for regime change there. You know the rap:

'What makes Saddam different from any other dictator?

What right do we have to go to war with Iraq?'

Did you tell her I don't like mudsuckers who gas their own people?

Did you tell her I don't like assholes that try to kill my father?

Did you tell her that I'm gonna kick his sorry ass all over the Mideast?

Well, I told her about half of that.

Only half?

Here's to turning 40 and looking 30.

Nothing old about you except a few of your jokes.

I think my jokes are funny.

To the best thing that ever came out of a Texas backyard barbecue.

May all yours and Laura's dreams come true.

Each and every one of them. It's baseball, you know.

I think Bushie wants to be baseball commissioner.

Why not? I love baseball. After all the times I've gone...

...I just never could get into it.

You know who I grew up dreaming to be, Spider?

Who? Willie 'The Say Hey Kid' Mays.

He was the greatest ever.

The problem is you couldn't hit the curve ball, and you're white.

That's right, I am white. I'm white.

Phone call for you, Mr. Bush. Whoa, Buddy Holly.

Who is it? The vice president, sir.

All right. All right, I'll get that and it's time to get serious.

I'll see you in a while. All right, I'll tell him you said hello.

You guys, I'll be right back.


I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday, son.

Oh, thank you. Hope you're enjoying yourself.

Oh, I am, very much so. Thank you, sir.

How's Laura?

Sweet as ever.

And the girls? They're back home in Midland.

We were just hoping to get some alone time.

A good thing.

Your mother and I, we rarely get that.

You know, I'm gearing up to run in '88.

Yes, sir. I think that's great.

Your brother Jeb can't get away from Florida.

How'd you like to lend a hand?

In what way?

Would you be willing to come to Washington?

Help me run my campaign?

Yes or no?

We'll do the... We'll do the river.

So, what did he have to say?


...looks like we're moving to D.C.

All right.

Hey, all right. Yeah.

All right.

Come on now.

Good morning.

Well, Jan beat me 6 to 1. I'm never gonna be any good at that game.

I think it's because I drank almost as much as you last night.

You all right there?

Oh, I can't go on like this.

I'm through. Through what?


Well, everyone knows you're trying.

Why don't you take today off?

Stay in bed.

No. I gotta do my miles.

My three miles.

I'll suck it up.

You know, George, Washington is gonna be a big change for us.

For the girls.

Your father is running for president.

I think it's so nice of him to show such confidence in you.

You could not have asked for a better birthday present.

Confidence? He only called me because Jeb wasn't available.

The point is, he asked you.

He wants you. Bushie, why do you do this to yourself? Why?

You gonna throw up?

Three miles.

You are my God and savior.

I always trust thee.

In Jesus' name, Amen. Amen.


We'll see you all next week.

God bless you. Thank you.

You hit a dry well, you keep on drilling.

Oh, yeah. Thank you.

Thank you very much, sir. Bye-bye.


There's always this weight on me.

This heaviness.

And no matter how many times I come here or go to church...

...that weight just won't lift.


...the Christian life is not a constant high.

I got my moments of deep discontentment.

And I got to go to God, just like you, and say, 'God, please help me. '

But all I am is name.

People say that I was born with a silver spoon...

...but they don't know the burden it carries.

I believe you, W.

And that's all right. You know, that's okay.

Now, look.

Look what you have achieved.

It's been, what, almost six months that you haven't touched a drink.

Yes, sir.

Well, the good Lord sees that, and he's proud of you.

We're all proud of you.

The worst thing you could ever say in your life are the words:

'If only I could live it over again. ' No.

Born again, W, that's what you are.

God has spoken to you. We've all sinned, Lord knows.

But it's what you have learned that matters.

You hear me, George? Yes, sir.

I do. I hear you, Reverend, I really do.

For God so loved the world...

...that he gave his only begotten son...

...that whosoever believeth in him...

...shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.

John 3:16.

Now take the baton. Reach out.

And beginning today...

...I want you to treat everybody you meet...

...your friends, your enemies, everybody...

...like they were gonna be dead at midnight.

Yes, sir.

You give that person all the love that's in you, son...

...and do it without any thought of reward...

...and your life, I promise you...

...will never be the same again.

You stay with it, W, because I can tell you...

...straight as A meets up and mates with B, you are one of us now.

And you will never be alone now that you're one of us, okay? Yeah?

From all walks of life, we are a country of wounded sinners.

A nation, a Christian nation.

There are millions of us born again.

Can I ask you, Earle, to pray with me?

It would be my pride and joy to pray with you, son.

Thank you, sir.

Heavenly Father...

...we humbly thank you for giving our servant, George...

...the wisdom, the strength and the understanding...

...to know the power of your ways.

And may he always see the light even in his darkest days.

In Jesus' holy name, Amen.


A set-up job.

Look, I'm a devout Christian. Been one all my life.

No need for me to say I've been reborn.

No, we're not looking to put words in your mouth, sir, far from it.

Only to help you be understood by our community...

...who do not understand you at all.

If you say no it's gonna cost you votes.

And Karl knows his stuff, and these men want you to win.

It's just a matter of coding, Poppy. I mean...

It's all right, Genius Boy. Sometimes he thinks he's me.

Go on, Karl.

Well, it's rephrasing things so that you connect to the base.

I can show you this metric data, if you like.

Fellas, I appreciate your support.

Obviously need it.

Trying to learn the lingo, but...

Still an old-school Episcopalian you're looking at.

Junior here, I mean W, is the real born again.

All right, gentlemen. Thank you. Thanks a bunch.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you very much, sir.

Thank you. Thank you, John.

They all act like businessmen. They're screamers and temple burners.

Come on. They're all protégés of Billy Graham, and from Texas.

Look, this is a bigtime change going on out there.

People are hungering for faith.

Your mother said you're really reborn.

Well, as long as you stop drinking, you can call it what you want.

I'm not comfortable with this stuff.

Inauthentic. Nixon did stuff like that.

I'm trusting you to vet everything.

I'm just looking for every edge, Poppy.

Check this spot out.

Bush and Dukakis on crime.

Bush supports the death penalty for first-degree murderers.

Dukakis not only opposes the death penalty...

...he allowed first-degree murderers to have weekend passes from prison.

One was Willie Horton, who murdered a boy in a robbery...

...stabbing him 19 times.

Despite a life sentence...

...Horton received 10 weekend passes from prison.

Horton fled, kidnapped a young couple...

...stabbing the man and raping his girlfriend.

Weekend prison passes, Dukakis on crime...

This guy Willie Horton is gonna be a household name.

This and Dukakis in that silly helmet...

...sitting in the tank are gonna put you over this time, Poppy.

Strong stuff. Naughty.

But you can't run this through the campaign.

You've got to use another pipeline.

I'm ahead of you, Poppy, don't you worry.

We outsourced it to the National Security PAC.

Roger Ailes and his group, they funded it.

Well, that's good work, son. Really good.

Earning your spurs now.

Thank you, sir.

Here is Tom Brokaw, NBC News.

Good evening, and Vice President George Bush...

...who's been in government housing for 8 years...

...will continue to live in government...

George Bush is president-elect of the United States.

We should send Willie Horton a fruit basket.

That's a good idea.

You look down. What is it?

Congratulations. Well, I'm just tired.

Just wondering what's gonna happen now, Karl.

What do you mean?

My father's not gonna give me a position, because he can't.

And I'm not gonna sit around, become a lobbyist. That's for sure.


I've been a lifelong student of political horseflesh.

From what I see, you've got a natural talent. Got the people touch.

But you need to go out in the world, do something.

I don't know how else to say it, but you haven't done jack shit yet.


George, come on to bed.

Rove hit me with a 2-by-4 of truth tonight.

Yeah, what was that?

That I'll never get out of Poppy's shadow.

They'll all keep saying, 'What's the boy ever done?'

I mean, who ever remembers the son of a president?

John Quincy Adams.

Yeah, but that was like 300 years ago, wasn't it?

You know what? I wish he'd lost.


How can you say that? I don't know.

I got crazy, mixed feelings about it. What are you talking about?

You helped him win the presidency. You gained his respect.

No matter what I do, it's just never gonna be enough.

Okay? Never.

What's the bottom line, George?

That Baghdad has...

...chemical and biological weapons currently active, no question.

Nukes? In some stage or other?

That's still problematic, sir. We say not yet...

...but with moderate confidence we can say they will have them by 2007, 2009.

But definitely this guy has got anthrax, mustard gas...

...sarin, VX, as much as 500 tons of CBW.

Given the dual-use provisions of the U.N. sanctions, we can't prove intent.

Until he launches.

Their military is deteriorated, infrastructure is shattered...

Why is British Intelligence telling us now that this guy...

...is trying to buy up a few hundred tons of yellow cake from Niger?

We still have no backup on that. We don't.

Well, we know this:

That Saddam is talking to Zarqawi, who is talking to al Qaeda...

...and Atta met Saddam's intel chief in Czechoslovakia.

There is no doubt that they're linked.

No doubt, Dick?

No doubt at all?

No doubt, Colin.

What do you say, Rummy?

Sir, the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.

Just because you do not have evidence that something does exist...

...does not mean you have...

Can your intel say where these WMDs are?

Well, my people think they've found something in the area around Tikrit.

But we also have leads around Baghdad.

And to the areas east, west, south, and north somewhat.

Well, let's find them, Rummy. Indeed.

We know this guy Saddam's hiding stuff.

We know the U.N.'s one big international mosh pit.

We got a lot of maybes, probablys and buts from George here... which John Q. Public ain't gonna buy.

Sir, we can present better, but we don't have nukes.

What we have is a slam-dunk on the others.


What have you been drinking, Brother George?

I think what you need is to bring in some lawyers... who can argue cases with juries to help you out, because... these snapshots and Iraqi gobbledygook... on tape is just another bunch of bullshit.

Sir, you know, whatever we come up with... the United Nation is gonna want more time on another resolution.

The old Europe.

Your father went to the U.N., Mr. President...

...and it took him six months, as I remember, but he got his resolution.

And he got Congress too.

My gosh, Colin, you're the finest military man in this room...

...we all know that.

But don't you think the Gulf War days are long gone?

Do we really need six months and half a million men...

...to knock off a tin-pot dictator with a ragtag army?

You're right, Don, I am a military man.

And you more than anyone in this room...

...learned the lessons of Vietnam.

Now, I think we're all adults in this room...

...and we recognize that 9l11, no matter how horrific it was...

...and it was...

...was also an opportunity this time for us to get it right.

Drain the swamp.

Sweep up all the bad guys in one big move.

Things related and not.

Otherwise, sir, they will be back.

I thought we just did that in Afghanistan.

We keep the focus on sweeping up Bin Laden.

Goodness gracious, if you want to call Afghanistan a war, Colin.

You know there were no real targets to bomb there.

It was an exercise. In any case...

...if we don't act, all of us will be out of here in 2004.

And that's the bottom line.

So this is all about politics, Karl?

I'm confused as to what you're doing in this room.

Okay, let's stay on message here.

Look, Genius Boy is just here to listen, not talk.

You see, sir...

...what I'm pressing for here...

...is why?

Why are we doing this?

Why Iraq?

Why now? We discussed that already, Colin.

We had America protected September 11 th.

That is, if people had been doing their jobs right.

But we blew it.

And now instead of taking down these 10,000 al Qaeda lunatics...

...in the mountains with special operations...

...we're way outside of the box on this thing.

Why aren't we trusting the system?

Why have we veered off to this place...

...where we accept without debate that a preemptive strike on Iraq...

...can defeat terrorism better than police action...

...or intel agencies that share information?

I just don't get it, Mr. President, I don't. Because I am a soldier.

And I'd be mighty sure before I put young American lives at risk.

Here we are... Okay, Secretary Powell, come on.

Let me finish.

Here we are...

...changing the whole way we do business...

...in response to a small but dedicated enemy hiding out in caves and jungles.

Are we losing our perspective here? We changed our perspective.

The Trade Center was bombed in '93.

We had a huge attack on Oklahoma in '95.

And those who did it are in jail or dead.

Big difference.

Oklahoma terrorists didn't have anthrax or nukes.


...I swear, you're beginning to sound like Neville Chamberlain.

Oh, don't patronize me, Mr. Five Deferments.

You save that for speeches to veterans. Neville Chamberlain.

You think, really...

You think, with all your diplomatic bullshit...

...that you can appease Islamic fascists, who are as nuts as Hitler.

You wanna know what I see, Mr. President?

I see a world where in about 25 years...

...America's reserves are gone.


Demand is up...

...30, 40 percent.

And we have two oceans blocking us from the world reserves.

You think we're gonna have allies then?

We're at 5 percent of the world's population.

We use 25 percent of its energy.

You think Russia and China are gonna help us out...

...when they need those resources themselves?

Eighty percent of the world's future energy reserves...

...are right here in Eurasia, where the prize ultimately lies.

Oil, gas, water.

Iraq alone, 10 percent of the world's reserves...

...60 of 80 oil fields are still undeveloped.

And probably another 100 billion gallons in their western desert.

They are floating in a sea of oil. We have bases...

...in more than 120 countries all over the world.

If we include Iraq, look what happens.

We are at the fertile choke point of civilization.

The Tigris-Euphrates, the biblical cradle.

We drain this swamp, like Don says.

We rebuild it.

We develop its resources to the maximum.

They own it, we run it.

Pipelines, sea lanes, their resources finance the reconstruction.

A nexus of power that won't be broken in our lifetime.

If we stick to the plan.

So, what is our real exit strategy on Iraq, Dick?

There is no exit.

We stay.

Spoken like a true oilman.

You were part of the plan, Colin, back in the '90s.

You backed our dominance in weaponry, space, cyber, electronic.

You agreed that we would never allow...

...another military-economic rival to emerge against us again.

I don't understand... Turning weapons loose...

...on terrorists is like trying to hit an ant with an elephant gun.

We invoke preemption... Preventive war, you call it.

The right to use nukes whenever we see fit. and I guarantee you, Paul, we will be in a forever war everywhere.

Three, four wars at a time.

That's not new world order, that's a world gone mad.

There's got to be some global cooperation here.

No one's against cooperation, Colin, you know that.

As long as we're calling the shots. Which gets us back to reality.

Lest we forget...

...where do you see a lack of American presence?

Right in the heart of it all.

What's missing?


The mother lode.

Third largest oil reserve in the world.

Forty percent of the world's oil...

...goes right through here, the Strait of Hormuz.

Control Iran, control Eurasia, control the world.


Real empire.

Nobody will fuck with us again.

It's big, Vice. You know, big thoughts.

But you go out here and you scare people when you talk like that.

The working Joe's not thinking about oil.

We're talking 9l11 terrorists...


We're talking freedom and democracy.

We're talking Axis of Evil.


...you have the touch, not I.

You know, when I was coming up...

...it was a dangerous world.

But we knew exactly who the 'they' were.

We knew it was us versus them, and it was clear who 'them' was.


...we're not so sure who the 'they' are, but we know they're there.

Now, I'm not gonna negotiate with myself.

I'm a gut player, always have been.

And I am just so bone-tired of this Saddam.

He's always misunderestimated me.

I don't want our soldiers invading in that desert heat.

We have got to get this war going before summer, Rummy.

You say go now, sir, and Tommy can start mobilizing normally.

We could have 300,000 troops in the Gulf...

...by early January without creating a stir.

I want you to keep a tight lid on it, Rummy.

For the record, this is against the spirit of the U.N. resolution.

We agreed with our allies to let the inspectors do their jobs.

As Yogi Berra said, 'Déjà vu all over again. '

Colin, you know what a burn card is?

No, sir.

Someday I gotta teach you how to play some Texas Hold 'Em.

You keep selling our friends at the U. N...

...but whatever they say, in the end, the final decision is mine.

Yes, sir.

Now, are you gonna be with us on this, Colin, right?

I'm with you, sir. Good.

All right, gentlemen, it's a great meeting.

Best yet.

Let's close this out.

Well, you've done a heck of a job, son.

Even though I traded Sammy Sosa?

We all make mistakes.

Center field. This is my favorite spot in the world, Poppy.

You know, whenever things get rough, when I need to clear my head...

...I just come out here. It just makes me feel at peace.

Right now, I wish I had a spot like this.

Not the White House lawn.

This guy Saddam's really put a burr under your saddle, I guess?

Saddam, what I call him now.

If you emphasize the first syllable...

...it means in Arabic, 'the little boy who shines old men's shoes. '

Well, he's one shoe-shining piece of crap, all right.

He gassed his own people, the Kurds...

...invades Kuwait.

It's time to back him down and take him out, Poppy.

You know, like you done Noriega.

Well, you know...

...I've always believed in leaving personal feelings out of politics...

...but Saddam, this can't stand.

I'm not gonna let that little dictator control...

...one quarter of the civilized world's oil.

I got a feeling about this.

How I handle it...

...one way or another, is gonna determine my legacy as president.

We don't wanna have another draw, another Vietnam.

Sloppy ending.

It's critical I make the right call.

For myself.

For the world.

Well, you will, Poppy.

I'm sure.

You know, just don't think about it too much...

...because it just screws you all up.

Sorry to hear about Selig screwing you.


I was a dang fool thinking he'd ever make me commissioner.

He was just jerking my chain, keeping the job warm for himself.

You own a baseball team.

Spare yourself the headache.

It may be better you stay out of the barrel.

What do you mean?

Just better.

So how's Jeb?

You know, I think your brother's actually gonna be governor of Florida.

I really do. You don't say.

He's always had that ambition.

Oh, who knows these things.

But that kid could...

Well, one day...

...he could even be president.

Gotta be getting back.

Nice seeing you, son.

You keep it up.

And I'll throw out that first ball when you need me.

In facing down Saddam Hussein...

...President Bush has rewritten the book on crisis management.

The temporary cease-fire would become formal in 48 hours...

...if Iraq releases all POWs and Kuwaiti detainees.

For all intents and purposes, Operation Desert Storm has ended.

A smashing victory for the Allies.

A crushing and embarrassing defeat for Iraq.

The Iraqi POWs march with their hands up...

...trudging past burning oil fields and abandoned defensive positions.

Gentlemen, well done.

Dick, could you and Colin stay?

Congratulations, general.

Good job.

A hundred hours, my gosh.

I guess we finally kicked that Vietnam syndrome.

It makes you wanna go all the way to Baghdad, doesn't it?

Probably get there in two days.

But to be an occupying power in an Arab land...

...the coalition would fall apart.

We'd be out there all alone. Mission creep.

Going after Saddam, we'd turn him into a hero.

That's not our job.

And how many Americans is Iraq worth?

You got an election in November.


Gone far enough.

Nice job, fellas.

Cleanest war in history.

Proud of you.

This is the proudest day of my presidency.

Governor Clinton is now President-Elect Bill Clinton.

He has won this presidential race...

...along with his running mate, Senator Al Gore.

In spite of his overwhelming victory in Iraq...

...the people did not return George Bush to the White House.

A stunning reversal of fortune for an aristocrat of politics...

...whose long career was overshadowed by a bad economy...

...a third-party candidate, Ross Perot, and a secret war in Nicaragua.

All of which may have combined to undo...

The best person didn't win tonight.

The best man did not win, George.

He's so beneath you.

He doesn't deserve to be president.

And he wouldn't be if it wasn't for the damn media.

You were a great president, Poppy.

Great president.

I gave it all I could.

I thought the war would have carried us.


...if you just would've clobbered the son of a bitch, you know?

What? You know, I mean...

...gone all the way to Baghdad. Cleaned his clock.

Has he been imbibing something I don't...?

Don't start. Don't start that. I'm talking about decisiveness.

Finishing. Everything I've been told.

Okay, that's it. You can stop right now. Just zip it up, and I mean it.

I won that war.

Of course you did, Poppy.

Of course you did.

Can you all leave, please, for a moment? Thank you. and this is the first indication of jubilation in Little Rock, Arkansas.

What was that about? Damned if I know.

I've never seen him like this before.

Well, it's hard, you know? He knows this is the end.

You know what? If he would've listened to me, he'd have pulverized Clinton.

I mean, I wish he had more of Mom in him because he's weak in spirit.

That's the difference maker. He doesn't believe like I believe.

That is not what this is about.

It's his health, all the medications he's taking.

He's just tired, and he's old.

I can't watch him like this.

You know, it hurts too damn much to lose.

I'd never let this happen to me. Never.

Governor of Texas?

You must be joking.

No, I'm dead serious.

Well, how are you gonna beat Ann Richards? She's way too popular.

Look, Ann Richards is way too liberal for Texas.

Karl's done the polls. He says I can beat her.

I'm gonna make Miss Big-Mouth-Big-Hair...

...pay for the things she said about Poppy.

Leave it alone.

Besides, I won that campaign.

What's at issue...? This isn't fair to Jeb.

He's already running for governor of Florida.

One Bush at a time, son. I'm not looking to steal his heat.

How do you expect us to go campaigning for both of you?

I'm not asking you to.

Laura, how do you feel about all of this, truthfully?

W knows how I feel.

Look, you don't understand. I've already made up my mind.

So you're not asking us, you're telling us.

The fact is, you can't win.

Why do you say that?

Because you're too much like me.

You're loud and you got a short fuse.

Now, Jeb is like your father.

He thinks before he speaks.

He's got his feet on the ground.

Barb, don't be so hard on him. Well, he knows it's the truth.

I'm not gonna say something I'm liable to regret here.

Son, just consider holding off until '98.

You won't have Richards to contend with.

We'll be able to give you our undivided support.

No, no, I get it. I get it.

You want Jeb to get elected before me.

Come off it. It's a matter of practicality, of timing.

I want you both to have what you want, what you deserve.

Well, I'm running this time, Poppy.

You hear me?

I'm running now.

Here they come. They'll be bringing the heat.

I know, don't swing at anything I can't hit.

Mr. Bush, you didn't talk much about education.

What are your plans for reform?

Well, I'm gonna deregulate school districts...

...so that teachers and administrators...

...can develop programs that best fit their kids.

How are you proposing to measure students' progress?

Well, we need to make a wholesale effort against racial profiling...

...which is illiterate children.

You need to teach a child to read...

...then he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.

We're in the very early stages of developing our program.

How do you plan to change the school finance formula?

I for one will not stand for the subsidation of failure.

How do you know if you don't measure up...

...if you have a system that simply suckles them through?

What about our failed schools?

Think the state needs to take over? More government's not the answer.

We must have the attitude that every child in America...

...regardless of where they're raised, can learn.

You know, rarely is the question asked:

'Is our children learning?'

Okay, fellas, that's it. We'll see you at the next campaign stop.

Mr. Bush. Mr. Bush. Mr. Bush. No more. Adiós. Adiós. Adiós.


Look, you're the son of a president.

You graduated Yale.

You went to Harvard, got a business degree.

If you can't stand in front of those guys for two minutes...

...and come up with one plausible answer...

...then what the hell are we running for governor for?

Just tell me what to do. Whatever it takes.

Look, if I need to read the whole damn Constitution, I'll learn it.

Okay, four food groups.

Crime, education, tort reform, welfare.

And if they ask you what time of day it is, what do you say?

We must teach our children to read.

What about welfare?

We must hold the fathers and the unwed mothers accountable.

Because we love babies. Because we love babies.


End early release and all paroles for rapists and child molesters.

Citizens got the right to carry a handgun for self-protection.

My opponent disagrees about that.

But Texas got the highest rate of murders in the country.

And still Miss Richards' hair is in the clouds.

She doesn't believe the citizens got to protect themselves.

If you believe that, vote for my opponent.

Okay, so, what about that swagger of yours?

In Texas, we call that walking. Drinking, drugs, your past?

It was a mistake. I was young. That's all I'm gonna say about that.

I don't wanna give your 14-year-old child the excuse to say:

'If old Governor Bush done it, maybe I can do it too. '

Hey, George. Hey, girls. How are you?

Good luck on your campaign. Thank you.

Hope you win. Vote for me, don't forget.

Yes, sir.

What do you say to, 'George W. Bush is a rich, spoiled jerk.

His wealth was produced by stock swaps...

...and bailouts arranged by his daddy'?

Ann Richards can badmouth me all she wants.

I've created successful small businesses.

I run a Major League baseball team.

I'm in touch with real people in Texas.

I work with them every day at the ball park.

Talk to the fans, hot dog vendors. Get to know what they think.

Because truly, deep down inside...

...you know I'm a guy like you, a guy you can trust.

Fabulous. Fabulous, W.

What it all comes down to...

...is who Joe Voter wants to sit down and have a beer with.

And guess who that is.

Just remember to make mine nonalcoholic.

So anything about the issues, you come to me first.

I'll tell you what to say.

You're not gonna tell me what to say, Karl.

I'm gonna tell you what I want. You're the word man.

This campaign starts and ends with me.

You got it, W. I'm just a little fairy...

...putting down a little magic dust for you.

And, Karl...

...this time I'm gonna out-Texas Texas.

Your father's here to see you, governor.

Poppy's here right now?

All right, send him in, Evie. Governor.

Yeah. You like that, don't you?

Put your pants on.

How are you, son? Hey, Poppy, sorry.

Got your speech ready?

Yeah, I was just getting ready to go over it again.

This is a moment you'll never forget...

...being inaugurated for the first time.

Try and take a photograph in your mind...

...so you can savor it when the times get tough...

...as they always do.

All right, well, I'll try and do that.

Yeah, I sure am glad that Jeb's coming.

I'm gonna acknowledge him in my speech.

It's been hard on him, the loss.

I wish I could've been at his inauguration too.

It would've been something.

Why do you just feel bad about Jeb?

Why don't you feel good about me?

Well, of course I do.


I brought you these.

They were your grandfather's.

The only real thing he ever gave me.

Wear them well.

See you at the inauguration, son.

Well, what did he have to say?

'These cufflinks are my most treasured possession.

My father, Prescott, gave them to me right after I came back from the war.

They were mine. Now they are yours.

I'm sure you will make a fine governor. '

It's nice, W.

You think he might ever be able to say something direct to me...

...instead of using these notes? This is his way.

You think he might be happy with me? Hon, he is.

Let me help you.

Well, Jebby, that's just great.

Keep Florida warm. You say hi to Columba and the kids for me.

Governor, the reverend.

Yeah, we'll talk later.

Earle. Governor.

Hey, thanks a bunch for coming. Yeah.

Hey, go ahead, take a seat. Make yourself comfortable.

Hey, how's the show coming along? Couldn't be better.

Over 100 million Americans are watching the Earle Hudd Hour...

...right here in North America. Fabulous.

You don't say. That's great. That's dandy, Earle.

So, listen...

...I asked you here today to discuss something of great importance.

I've heard the call.

Well, I know.

Don't forget, I've been the witness to the growth in your faith.

No, that's not what I mean.

I mean, I've heard the call.

And I believe that God wants me to run for president.

Truly? I can't explain it.

But I think that something is gonna happen.

And at that time, my country is gonna need me.

And, you know, I think it's part of a divine plan.

Well, a man don't hear the call, governor...

...unless the good Lord wants him to.

The truth is I don't wanna run.

I mean, it's like Moses. I mean, he wasn't a very good speaker.

But finally, he just knew.

My father was president, the whole family was affected by it.

I know the price.

I'd be happy just buying my fishing lures at Wal-Mart.

And if I run for president, I know my life will never be the same.

But I feel that God wants me to do this, Earle.

And I must do it.

I must.

Well, then, you must, son.

I'd like to pray over it. Yeah, thank you.

Dear Lord...

...we pray that you will watch over...

...and always shine your light on our humble servant George W. Bush.

In Jesus' name.



Last draft. I promise.

Yellowcake again. I've read how many of these?

I'm burned out. I've gotta get some sack time. Have my guy check it out.

We finally got it in.

Page eight. Uranium in Africa.

Took long enough.

British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein...

...recently sought significant quantities of uranium in Africa.

Our intelligence sources tells us...

...that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes...

...suitable for nuclear-weapons production.

Evidence from intelligence sources...

...and secret communications from people now in custody...

...reveal that Saddam Hussein...

...aids and protects terrorists.

Including members of al Qaeda.

Imagine those 19 hijackers...

...with other weapons and other plans...

...this time armed by Saddam Hussein.

It would take one bomb, one canister...

...one crate slipped into this country...

...to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known.

Facing clear evidence of peril...

...we cannot wait for the final proof...

...the smoking gun that can come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world.

It is God's gift to humanity.

Every nation and every region has a decision to make.

Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists.

May he guide us now.

And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

Why don't you take your sleeping pill?

Clouds coming in.

Looks like rain.

Come on.

You're not sitting here at 3 a. m. thinking about the weather.

Remind me to call the electrician in the morning.

There's a light out on the path below.

Why don't you call your son and tell him what's on your mind...

...what's keeping you awake all night?

I'm worried about him.

Really worried.

I can't talk to him.

Well, he's not gonna listen to me.

He takes criticism worse than I do.

He's the president now.

His decision to make.


...you better do something.

This is eating away at you.

I'll do something.

'An attack on Iraq at this time...

...would seriously jeopardize the global counter terrorist campaign...

...we have undertaken. And would result...

...in a serious degradation in international cooperation with us...

...against terrorism. '

Damn Brent Scowcroft.

He wouldn't be doing this unless my father approved it.

You know, Poppy's good friend.

These 1980 guys trying to tell me what to do...

...when they don't know what I know.

Just when we want the U.N. and the Democrats in this.

I will call Brent right now.

He can't even talk to me directly like a man.

Writing letters. I don't wanna get anything like this again.

I will let Brent know that from here on out, he's persona non grata.

This is my war, not his.

I will not renegotiate this.

Mr. President.

Has your father ever personally offered you advice on Iraq?

No, I haven't asked. I don't need to.

Wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength.

You know, there's a higher father I appeal to.


Protestors came by the thousands...

...filling block after block around the United Nations to make a single...

These are the largest anti-war demonstrations ever seen in history.

Some of our allies were very much against this operation.

Bush, Bush.

Estimates of 10 to 15 million protestors across the planet...

...protesting America's pro-war policies in Iraq.

Tens of thousands demonstrating all over the world...

So I suppose the key here, George, is to go back to the U.N.

Tony, I'm with you, but I'm flat out of wrestling moves with these U.N. types.

Even Powell doesn't think we can get it through.

Believe me, I am twisting my own set of arms at the U.N.

All right. But I still think...

...France, Germany, Russia, we can make a deal.

Well, our new thinking is shaping on that.

Yeah. Which is?

Punish France. Ignore Germany.

Forgive Russia.

Yes, but with time, just a few months, much will become clearer.

No, we can't do that, Tony.

We run out of time. The start date for the war is penciled in. March 10.

March 10th.

George, the inspectors haven't found anything yet.

How can we justify a preemptive attack?

Well, no WMDs yet, Tony, but we know they got them.

Absolutely. So it just might come down to us...

...having to provoke the son of a bitch.

Well, what do you have in mind?

We were thinking of painting one of our U-2 recon planes in U.N. colors...

...and fly it over Iraq.

Now, if Saddam takes the bait, which, knowing him, he will...

Well, when he fires on it, he'll be in breach of 1441.

That would sure justify retaliation.

Well, it's a novel idea.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.


...come the U.N. second resolution or not...

...we're going to war on this.

Are you?

I do not share your spirit for why we need war.

War is not inevitable.

There are alternative ways to reach goals.

I mean, it's a question of morality, George.

Well, Jacques, St. Augustine wrote about that.

Said there was such a thing as just war.

Listen, Jacques, I'm committed to our relationship.

So am I. I'm responsible for...

...hugging the families of those who have lost lives in war...

...and I view an armed Saddam as a direct threat to the American people.

Well, if there is a war, we'll work together on the reconstruction.

We will all contribute.

Okay, Jacques.


...that's it. You have a good night now.

Good night, George.

I'd love to stuff some freedom fries right down that frog's throat.

Yeah. Thinks he can have it both ways.

Ripping off their oil...

...and then taking the high horse and claiming the low road.

Sir, don't lose any sleep over the French. He was never onboard.

They got him on 60 Minutes next week calling for 30 days for the inspectors.

Thirty days?

Next chance that comes up, remind me to veto something French...

...because I'd be damn glad to.

What about Putin? Get him on the phone.

All right.

Might as well get stabbed in the back all at once.

Like that guy in Rome.

teaspoonful of dry anthrax in an envelope...

...shut down the United States Senate in the fall of 2001.

This forced several hundred people...

...to undergo emergency medical treatment...

...killed two postal workers...

...just from the amount of just about this quantity.

Iraq declared 8500 liters of anthrax.

My man, Balloon Foot, came through in the end, didn't he? even one teaspoonful of this deadly material.

You know, he's been a nudge from the beginning...

...but this is gonna seal the deal.

It's the best speech he's ever given.

Can you believe that, Vice?

Comrade Pooty-Poot, with all the problems he's got in Chechnya...

...he's got the balls to feel bad for me.

It's all because of that damn Kraut, Schröder.

Used me as a piñata to get re-elected.

I won't forget that.

Well, at least we got Italy, Australia...

...the Czechs, Spain, Poland, South Korea...

...and, you know, the Brits.

Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria. Yeah.

Japan is sending observers.

And let's not forget the 90 Mongolian troops.

I hear they're damn fine wrestlers too.

We got more than 40 countries in this coalition, right?

Yeah, 49, sir, but most of them do not have militaries.

Some are sending equipment.

Morocco is sending monkeys. Monkeys?

Monkeys that are trained to locate and set off minefields, yeah.

That's a good idea.

Okay, Tommy's standing by in Qatar. Right.

Hey, Tommy. How you doing over there?

Hot as a goat's asshole, sir.

What's the latest plan, Tom?

Well, we should have 140,000 in the region any day now.

Seventy eight thousand of them ground forces.

Another 50,000 are on the way.

We'll have a total force level of 208,000 on the ground.

That's great. So you got all you need to go?

Yes, sir.

Now, sir, we have identified over 24 high-value targets.

But this could result in civilian deaths.

I'm no target picker, Tommy, but I'm not Clinton either.

I don't wanna fire no $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent, and hit a camel.

Not gonna happen on my watch, sir.

Be sure not to hit any schools or hospitals.

Well, I read you on the hospitals. Any schools we'll hit at night.

All right, what about projected casualties?

Well, I think now, more in the neighborhood of several hundred.

No more than a thousand.

Remember, Americans don't like to see dead boys on their television sets.

Yes, death tends to give war a depressing image.

We can issue a blackout on any coverage of soldiers in caskets.

The same thing should apply to military funerals.

Oh, yeah, that's good, Vice.


...it's been a long haul, gentlemen, ladies.

I don't care what happens now...

...how many damn votes we do or don't get in the U.N.

Come Monday morning, 10 a. m...

...I'm giving Saddam and his two sons 48 hours to get out of Dodge, okay?


All right.

Everybody in agreement then?

Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

All right.

May God bless the troops.

May God bless America.

All right, way to go. This is like the fall of the Berlin Wall.

I've got goose bumps.

Not one CBW attack. Not one Scud. No surprises.

Except they're not surrendering.

Thousands are taking off their uniforms and going home.

Well, good. I'll bet Saddam's running from palace to palace...

...trying to find his passports.

Don't say I was wrong on this one, Colin.

We did it, sir. Congratulations.

We sure did, Colin.

Congratulations. Good to see you smiling.

What do you mean we, kemosabe?

Hey, good job.

Hey. Good job, sir. Good job.

I remember you once agreeing...

...that going all the way to Baghdad would be a mistake.

I think you made a bigger boo-boo, Colin.

You could've been president.

Fuck you.

This is for those who doubted I won the election.

Yes, sir. And who doubted my judgment.

So dropping a rope around its neck, that didn't bring it down.

They took an ax to the base of the statue, that didn't bring it down.

And this is finally what did.

Yeah. We got the son of a bitch. How about that?

Maybe he called it right after all.

Well, they got the statue...

...but now they gotta catch the man.

Live from New York City, this is SpinBall...

...with Jack Hawk and Candice Black.

What did you think of that? That was spectacular.

Jack, it's really stunning.

I mean, he's landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour.

I can't think of a Democrat that would do that.

Exactly. Imagine Kerry.

Kerry would never be able to pull this off.

This is the guy who threw down someone else's Vietnam medals.

George Bush, on the other hand, a man's man.

Women love that. We're buying into that, and perception is reality.

George Bush looks for real, all right.

He didn't fight in the war, but he looks like he did.

And women love President Bush for this very reason.

And women love this war. It's simple.

My fellow Americans...

...major combat operations in Iraq has ended.

In the battle of Iraq...

...the United States and our allies have prevailed.

In the images of celebrating Iraqis...

...we have seen the ageless appeal of human freedom.

Everywhere that freedom steers, let tyrants fear.

That is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world.

May God bless you all.

And may God continue to bless America.

Roadside bombs killed six U.S. soldiers today...

...in separate attacks in Fallujah and Baghdad.

To date, 853 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq.

The bombing continues a recent pattern of insurgency...

...directed at American troops, but also the Iraqi civilian population...

...which is divided between Shiite and Sunni religious affiliations.

The truck bomb killed at least 17...

...and wounded over 100 at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

The blast also killed U.N. Ambassador Sergio de Mello...

...who appears to have been the main target.

Back up. Back up.

Former members of the Iraqi army...

...are protesting the dissolution of the armed forces.

They have guns but no food to feed their families.

Some have threatened they will resort to suicide attacks...

...if their grievances are not addressed.

The Pentagon told me we'd be down to 25 to 30,000 troops by August.

Is that anywhere near possible now?

Well, I'm afraid, Mr. President, we're in for a longer haul than we thought.

Then where the hell are the WMDs at?

Well, we control the country now, sir, so I'm sure we're gonna find them.

All right, tell me this.

Whose job is it to find these damn weapons?

Bremer, I mean, you're running the whole show here, right?

Well? That's not within my purview, sir.

I thought General Franks was taking the initiative there.

Tom, you're commander of the whole shebang...

That area was never part of my command responsibility, sir.

There was a team assigned by the... No, no. Who? Who's in charge?

Well, as per Secretary Rumsfeld's wishes, sir...

...most normal post-op State Department functions, sir...

...were stripped from us and given to Defense.

Why wasn't I told?

What's Rummy say about this?

Cambone... I believe that it's Stephen Cambone's jurisdiction, sir.

Cam... What is that? Cam who? Cam who?

Well, he's undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Mr. President.

He reports to Secretary Rumsfeld.

Well, that's great.

I mean, that's just great.

Why the heck didn't anyone tell me this before, huh?

Mr. President, I wanna go back to Iraq.

Look, let me make this clear...

...since I've had some experience dealing with these matters.

My son has got the toughest position in the world.

He's the one who gets the intelligence briefings.

And as Americans... it's our duty to fully support his efforts...

...to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East.

And as a father...

...I'll be damned if I'll listen to people...

...who are always trying to tear the boy down.

And you know what? They built him a set of metal legs...

...made him faster than what he used to be.

They make them that good these days.

You and I are gonna run together, son, soon as you get back on your feet.

I give you my promise, all right?


Got him a shirt. Maybe you can give it to him when he wakes up.

I'd like...

...to stand up for you, sir.

No, you don't, sergeant.

No, I'm the one standing up for you.

Laura and I are looking forward to seeing you next trip.

All right, now? That's right.

All right, you hang in there.

Thank you.

Thank you.

David, good to see you.

Mr. President. So, what do you got for us?

You used to love pecan pie, Mr. President.

I've given up sweets since the start of the war, Rummy.

My personal sacrifice to show support for our troops.

The best pie I've ever tasted, Mr. President.

So, what you're telling me, David, comes down to nothing on nothing?

Frankly, we missed it...

...because Saddam pretended that he had the weapons.

It doesn't make sense.

Why would he risk his life and government by not coming clean?

Because I think...

...he didn't want his people to know he didn't have the weapons.

Part of his Superman image.

Afraid they'd cut his throat if they found out the truth.

You're saying this guy was running a full house off a pair?

Come on, that's just nuts.

He really thought you were bluffing. Right up to the end.

Me, bluff?

How could the CIA, all our intel people, completely muff this?

I told Mr. Tenet from the beginning...

...that things weren't panning out the way we thought they existed.

And your National Security advisers...

...should've got into this, gotten the details and vetted them for you.

Believe me, Dr. Kay...

...when I say we were getting thousands of reports...

...and not just from you or the CIA.

I don't see... I don't know that putting the blame on some...

Mr. President, I think we're being overly negative in a situation...

...where, indeed, we lack the metrics...

...to judge the overall success of the global war on terror.

My office sent to you spy satellite photos...

...that showed that WMDs could be hidden in caves...

...that you never responded to.

We analyzed those photos, Mr. Vice President...

...and they are actually trenches, watering holes for cattle.

Not caves.

That's not what my people told me.

Vice, you grew up in Wyoming.

You should damn well know cattle.

I mean, there you go. You fool me once, shame on you.

Now, fool me twice...

...and you can't get fooled again.

I'm sorry, Mr. President.

We thought he had WMDs.

But we were all wrong about him.

And I include myself.

Our system...

...the integrity of it...

...has broken down completely.

And I have never traded access for integrity.

And I am obligated to resign.

That was some shit sandwich he served for lunch.

Working on it. We can find someone who can deliver.

I don't buy it. He had those weapons. No doubt.

But now we shift the ground.

Keep the focus on freedom and democracy.

Rumsfeld is on another planet.

Sometimes I wonder. I think he's lost it.

What about Iran? Oh, yeah.

Bigtime uranium-enrichment program going on.

We're on it. Stay on it.

There's something there.

I can feel it.

Kansas State and Ohio State, a pair of top- 10 teams squared off...

...in the Fiesta Bowl. That was for the championship.

Krenzel, your MVP, four touchdowns passing.

Funny thing...

...Poppy once said.

I didn't appreciate it.

What was that, Geo?

Something about:

'Sometimes it's better to stay out of the barrel. '

These lines here...

...seem like they just dug in overnight.

You're as handsome as ever, Geo.

Only makes you look more distinguished.

Your favorite play is coming to town. Why don't we get tickets?


The Broadway company is going to be here.

You wanna go?


That's something I'd stay up late for. Definitely.

I thought so.

You know, I don't get it.

All this psychobabble in the media.

I mean, all I wanted to do is make this a better and safer world...

...for everyone.

There's good and there's evil.

And you and I and the rest of the people in America know the difference.

That good ultimately wins out.

But you have to fight for it. You have to fight for it.

People have no idea how hard it is on us.

The sacrifices you've made.

Laura, I knew when I married you what you were made of.

That same bolt of lightning hit both of us.

For better or worse.

Mostly better.

Since the start of the war, though...

...I barely have time to run my three miles anymore.

My knees hurt.

I'm just off my pace.

It's been hard on me, Laura.

On top of everything else.


...someday the war will be over.

And we can have our lives back.

I'll get those tickets for next week.

Poppy, what are you doing here? I used to sit in this chair.

Opposite Baker.

Got him to help pull your ass out of the fire in Florida in 2000.

Don't forget that.

Come on. Let's go.

A little mano a mano.

Bet you I can still whip your ass. What?

Got to admit, I scared you back then. Still scare you, don't I?

I got a lot on my mind. I don't need this, Poppy. Not now.

Why you being so ornery?

Because you disappoint me, Junior.

Deeply disappoint me.

After all these years. Still?

You're still with that? No, no, no.

Not the girls or summer jobs anymore.

I dug myself out of the depths of hell to stand on my own two feet...

...make something of myself. And I did it on my own.

Think you did.

Yeah, well, you also wrecked it.

Wrecked. Wrecked what?

You've ruined it for us.

What are you talking about? The Bush name.

Get out of my office.

Two hundred years of work. For Jeb.

Get out.

With this fiasco.

Get out of my life.

And that's what it is.

A goddamn fiasco.

Get out.

George. George.

Are you all right?

Oh, Jesus.

Jesus, George.

There's been tough weeks in Iraq.

But our central commitment of the mission...

...is the transfer of sovereignty back to the Iraqi people.

Now, we've set a deadline for this to take place...

...three months from now.

June 30, 2004.

It's important that we meet that deadline, all right?

The only way we can win...

...is to leave before the job is done.


I'll now take questions.

Mr. President. Sir.

Sir, sir. Question, sir.


Miss China?

Mr. President, I know this is a tough question...

...but my viewers would really like to know.

What place do you think you'll have in history?

In history?

I don't know.

In history, we'll all be dead.

Mr. President? Yeah.

Mr. President? Yeah, John, there.

Thank you, sir. Mr. President. Yeah.

After 9l11, what would you say your biggest mistakes would be...

...and what lessons have you learned from them?

Now, I wish you would have given me...

...this written question beforehand, John...

...so I could prepare for it.

You know, I just...

John, I'm sure historians will say, 'Gosh,' you know.

'I wish he could've done better, you know, this way or that way. '

Something will pop into my head here in the press conference...

...with all the pressure of trying to come up with an answer...

...but it hasn't yet.

You know, I hope...

I don't wanna sound like I haven't made no mistakes.

You know, I'm confident I have.

It's just, I haven't...

You know, you really put me on the spot here...

...and maybe I'm not...

...as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one.

Mr. President.

Not now, Ari. Not now. I'm busy.

We're locked into a dandy, 1- 1 here, bottom of the eighth, two outs...

...as Spencer stands in.

He's 3-for-3 on the night.

This is the first time he's come up with a man on base.

He hasn't had a chance to do damage.

He'd certainly love to do some here.

Monroe off of first. That was the starting pitcher by the way.

Jay Fletcher you just saw down in the bullpen.

Woodhouse is on deck.

Schwartz will follow if we get that far.

Chavez now from the stretch.

And the pitch to Monroe.

Swinging, there's a fly ball into right field.

Moving over.

He dives, he misses the ball.

Monroe rounds first. He heads for second.

And here comes Spencer around third going for home.

The relay to the plate is... not in time. And Texas takes the lead, 2 to 1.