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George W Bush Lone Stars RisingIt was on a late morning in 1996, in Texas Monthly’s conference room, that I experienced the rather pungent persona of George W. Bush for the first time. Editor in chief Gregory Curtis had arranged for an hour-long discussion between Bush—then a first-term governor—and the magazine’s editorial staff. Less than two years into his administration, the son of President George H. W. Bush was already regarded as a rising star and likely presidential candidate.Bush sprawled in a seat at the head of the table, flanked by his advisers Karen Hughes and Karl Rove. Assured by Curtis that our conversation would be off the record, Bush waved off the privilege, saying with a smirk, “Nothing’s off the record.” The topics we raised ranged from the state lottery…

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