Bush vs. Woodward—only one reputation will survive.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Sept. 29 2006 6:39 PM

Bush vs. Woodward

Only one reputation can survive.

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To the extent administration officials are trying to undermine his findings, it is to suggest that he had to "come hard from the outset," as one put it to me. Because he received so much criticism from the left for his first books, the officials suggest, Woodward is trying extra hard to attack the president this time. But the problem the Woodward book presents for the Bush administration is not that his anecdotes of mismanagement seem shocking or unexpected, but that they don't. Woodward isn't going to change minds, but he'll do something more dangerous: He will confirm the doubts about Bush that a majority of Americans already have.

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