President Bush Friend: “He’s a golf-aholic now"

Peter Baker files a New York Times profile (thanks reader Tim) of President George W. Bush that offers rare insights into the former president's life in Dallas, including his fundraising work for wounded warriors, his concerns about the Tea Party and what appears to now be the same obsession with golf shared by his father.

From Baker's profile that is accompanied by the president in a Presidents Cup hat as Tim Finchem is deep in thought: 

But Mr. Bush is most worried about what he sees as a growing isolationism, a retreat from the tough-minded national security policies and assertive American role in the world that he championed. “That’s his main concern about the Tea Party,” Mr. Glassman said. In that vein, Mr. Bush contributed $5,000 to Senator Lindsey Graham, a hawkish South Carolina Republican who is facing a challenge from the right.

His main passions these days, though, are elsewhere. Mr. Bush, who is 67, spent Halloween with his new granddaughter, who was dressed as an astronaut. He has a regular seat near the dugout at Texas Rangers games and gave the coin toss at a recent Southern Methodist University football game. He hosted a charity golf tournament, and after having a stent inserted to open a clogged artery, he is back on his bicycle.

“I would sum it up as library work, speeches, painting, golfing and mountain-bike riding,” said Mark McKinnon, a friend and former political consultant. “The most consistent characteristic about President Bush is that he truly loves and relishes life.”

After giving up golf while in office out of deference to troops at war, Mr. Bush has taken it up again. He sometimes plays with the first few people who happen to show up at courses like the Brook Hollow Golf Club or the Las Colinas Country Club, and he built a putting green at home. “He’s a golf-aholic now,” said his friend Charlie Younger.