There's a great column in the Wall Street Journal this morning by one of my favorite writers, Peggy Noonan.
By the way, if you're a Bush-hater the last paragraph is a pip - but you'll have to hit the link, I'm not excerpting it!
Now He tells Us OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan
But he never quite cleared it up, not at the time. He does it now, with the book, and after the advance. As a writer I am in passionate support of large advances, but $8.5 million to tell the American people what he should have told them when his views might have had an impact?
In the book he seems to brag about how artfully and deliberately obscure his public statements were, all those orotund stylings marked by barely penetrable syntax, passive voice and oblique phraseology. Somehow they seem less amusing in retrospect. Maybe their very obscurity allowed partisans to twist his words into whatever shape they wanted. And maybe that was sort of OK with him.
Long ago in a book called "What I Saw at the Revolution," I wrote that I was dismayed by White House memoirs whose underlying message was, "If only they'd listened to me, the fools!" I didn't want to do that, and in my case I couldn't. Sometimes if they'd listened to me they'd have been wrong indeed. Mr. Greenspan is an "If only they'd listened to me" man. He should have added, "And they might have if I'd been clear."
The book she mentions above - Present at the Revolution was Noonan's first book, about her experiences as a speechwriter in the Reagan White House (she wrote several of his memorable speeches). It's a great book.