Former President George W. Bush is Agoraphobic, Spends Days Painting Portraits of Dogs

Hat tip to the Atlantic Wire for pointing out the best bits about Dallas’ own former president George W. Bush in New York magazine’s story about Jeb Bush and the Bush clan:

In the room were Brent Scowcroft, his old friend and former national-security adviser–and the 43rd president, his son George W. Bush. For some, the shadows of the family psychodrama were alive in the room. When W., whose controversial presidency had been a kind of rebuttal to his father’s, was asked to give an impromptu toast honoring the man he had both worshipped and sought to overcome his entire life, witnesses say he appeared pinched and unhappy, his toast perfunctory. “It was highly unemotional,” says an attendee.

For all his legendary swagger, W. shrank in the presence of his father, either out of deference or something else. Perhaps he merely resented the presence of the eastern elite he detested, people like Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes and HBO CEO Richard Plepler. “It was a weird evening,” says the attendee. “He knew that the Time Warner executives were not his base, and so here he is in his house with the Hollywood ‘a-leet,’ as he calls them.

“He’s become increasingly agoraphobic,” this person adds of the former president. “He looked startled by the whole thing. But he doesn’t like people, he never did, he doesn’t now.”

Indeed, George W. Bush, now 66, has spent the past few years living as invisibly as possible, working diligently on his golf game at the Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, showing up at a Rangers baseball game, or being spotted eating a steak in one of his favorite restaurants. While the rest of the world judges his years in office, he’s taken up painting, making portraits of dogs and arid Texas landscapes. “I find it stunning that he has the patience to sit and take instruction and paint,” says a former aide.


  • Avid Reader

    Must be an impersonator involved in all those wounded warrior veteran events and charities.

  • Occasional Reader

    Also, it must be an imposter who cheerfully leads cyclists and poses for pictures at DFW-area mountain bike trails.

  • Local Democrat

    I’m a democrat who nver voted for President George W. Bush. However, I respect the service the man gave to his country. I believe silly articles like this one pointlessly demean a man now living a private life. I also believe that articles like this one contribute to the uncivil discourse and polarizing animosity that plagues our political parties and impedes the progress of our nation. Shameful piece of trashy “journalism.”

  • Donatella

    Don’t know of too many agoraphobics who spend time at the golf course much less attend a Ranger game. The headline seems a tad harsh.

  • Jackie Dale

    I assume that painting dogs would be part of some therapy. I hope it helps. He did so much to curb the overpopulation of Iraq.

  • mynameisbill

    I wonder if he does any of those “dogs playing poker” paintings? Those are always good for a chuckle….haha.

  • I didn’t know they still made “paint-by-numbers” kits.

  • VM

    I’m with Loyal Democrat, I didn’t vote for him either. But working diligently on your game at the Country Club, going to Ranger games and out to your favorite steak house for dinner doesn’t have much to do with agoraphobia.

  • Maybe they meant a-Gore-a-phobic? [RIMSHOT NAILED IT SO GREAT SORRY]

  • Paul

    What a load of crap, just what you’d expect from New York magazine.

  • Taylor

    Good to hear. No sympathy for his war crimes and the mess he left of this country and the Middle East.

  • deedub

    No sympathy here. I think he will gradually deteriorate as the years of his guilt and the realization of the thousands of brave American soldiers and innocent Iraqis he assisted in murdering build up to a point at which he will curl up in the fetal position and be rendered unthinking. It will require a century of rebuilding to overcome the severe damage his war-mongering administration unleashed on the world. Unbelievable how one person’s inattention and incuriosity could be so destructive.

  • Tommy DeVito

    I like this one. One dog goes one way, the other dog goes the other way, and this guy’s sayin’, “Whadda ya want from me?”

  • The article stated that W. is becoming more and more agraphobic, so seeing him at times at baseball games, a golf course, and at some events would not be that unusual. Let’s hope that his conscience is getting the better of him. After all he was responsible for a lot of deaths and unbelievable suffering.