His Punch Is Better Than Ever

NORMAN MAILER, with a giant new novel and a dampened anger, talks about Bush's virtues (yes, virtues), political correctness, the men's movement and reincarnation

Q. Do you think George Bush is a wimp?

A. I don't think he's at all a wimp. His great asset is that he's perceived as a wimp -- it's always a strength for a public figure if the public misperceives him. People come in to deal with the man, or indeed a woman, with a misperception. Then their reflexes aren't ready for what's really there.

Q. So you see George Bush as . . .

A. A very canny, tough, self-centered political figure who would have huge difficulty in passing a course in philosophy.

He's a little bit like Maggie...

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