Loyalty to family and “the ones that brung ya,” a quality long valued and rewarded by the Bush dynasty, was on quiet display at a crowded, pre-event reception last night for Barbara Bush’s A Celebration of Reading Dallas at the Meyerson. There in the throng was W’s wife Laura and their twin daughters Barbara Bush and Jenna Hager–the “outgoing one” who works as a correspondent for the Today show. It’s no coincidence, probably, that W gave a big exclusive prime-time TV interview (it ran on NBC last night) to Today‘s Matt Lauer.
Over in a corner chatting amiably was Neil Bush, W’s brother, whose career includes more than a few potentially embarrassing high-profile flaps. Now involved in the oil business in central Texas, Neil said that four of his children would be on stage later, introducing some of the evening’s authors. Finally there was George H.W. Bush, who was asked about Gov. Rick Perry’s comments accusing W of being a big-government overspender. “I have great confidence in my son,” Bush 41 replied. “He saw what he had to do and did it. If he’s criticized, I find it hard to believe.”