(6 of 6)
In a short car ride before I leave, he laughs off a question about pardoning Clinton, instead telling a story. "When Laura and I were at the Cardinal O'Connor funeral, and it came time for the handshakes of peace...I see this huge hand reaching across five bodies, and it's Clinton, and he roars, 'Peace, Governor!'" Bush's Clinton accent is thick like pudding. He, like the rest of America, loves to do the Clinton voice. His cell phone rings. He fishes into the cavity below the radio and finds it. After a minute or so he says, "That's great news. Terrific." The Supreme Court has just halted the count.
Bush steps out of the car to finish the conversation in private, looking over the plants growing at the edge of the house. "That is good news," he says, showing only the slightest new enthusiasm after he rings off the phone. As I stand to leave, he starts playing fetch with Spot. Using a purple tennis racquet, he hits a tennis ball, brown from slobber. If I hadn't been there maybe he'd be on those phones, pacing, torturing the TV's rabbit ears to get clearer reception. But instead he starts talking about Yale. "I must admit that I thought some of them thought those of us from the South didn't get it," he says, swatting the ball. "That was just fine with me." Thwack goes the racquet. He says he's going to go clear the cedar, and I leave. He walks inside, and calls Jim Baker.