Editor-in-Chief's Diagnosis: Bush Has a Learning Disability

     Veteran Washington journalist and Editor-in-Chief Jacob Weisberg has a theory about the awkward nature some say President George W. Bush exhibits in his public speeches – Bush has a learning disability. Weisberg linked it back to a pattern of dyslexia in the Bush family.

     “I agree with that,” Weisberg said when presented the possibility that Bush has a “learning disability.” “The other thing I’ve done is collect ‘Bushisms’ over the years and I sort of joke this book is my penance for doing that, because one of the things ‘Bushisms’ do is I think they make Bush sound stupider than he is, or stupid in a way he isn’t. And I do think he does have some sort of language processing impairment that is probably akin to dyslexia and dyslexia does run in the family. But, I don’t think it is dyslexia because if you watched the state of the union, you could see he has no trouble reading a teleprompter.”

     Weisberg appeared at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C. on January 30 to promote his new book, “The Bush Tragedy.”  He argued that Bush’s learning disability isn’t dyslexia because he reads a lot – to find “vindication.”

     “He is a reader actually,” Weisberg said. “He’s become a reader. I think in the White House, he reads a lot of history in part because he is looking for vindication in it. But, I think there is some language problem which makes him sound stupid.”

     However, Weisberg did give Bush some credit and say Bush’s business interests were not the determining factor of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. During the early stages of the war, many on the left said the desire for oil was the reason Bush invaded Iraq.

     “There’s a reason why the war happened in Iraq and not Darfur,” Weisberg said. “I mean it is a strategically important place in the world. I don’t accept the idea that we invaded Iraq to secure supplies of oil for American oil companies – that it was driven by Bush’s business interest. I don’t really buy into any of that kind of thinking. At the same time, the strategic importance of the Persian Gulf is why that area was on everybody’s radar screen and it happened there for a reason.” is an online magazine owned by The Washington Post. It was founded in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley. The Post purchased Slate in December 2004.

     Weisberg is a former editor of The New Republic. He was also a Washington correspondent for Newsweek and has written for The New York Times Magazine and Vanity Fair.