From a letter to AndrewSullivan.com
I just wanted to comment on your assessment of Kerry and Bush. I knew both of them slightly at Yale: Bush and I were in the same class ('68) and I knew Kerry through the political union. I would sum up the similarities and differences this way:Is there anything in these descriptions, true or not, that would mark these men as leaders? Is arrogance a sign of the urge to dominance?
1) Both are incredibly arrogant, even for Yalies. Each was incredibly arrogant before he was tapped for skull and bones, and only became more so after he was tapped. Bush hides his arrogance a little better, but it's there in his eyes when you meet him in person, as I did fairly recently.
2) Kerry believes in his destiny -- because he's tall and smart and sophisticated, and mostly because his initials are JFK. (At Yale he used those initials on everything.) He's a preppie, wealthy Catholic from Massachusetts who was born in the west wing of the hospital -- so his destiny must be to be President.
He thinks that being President will be a burden, but it's a burden he's obliged to take up for the good of the country (and to fulfill his destiny).
And yes, he's distantly related on his mother's side to the Major Forbes who founded the City of Pittsburgh, so naturally he also had a destiny to marry Teresa Heinz. By marriage, at least, she's a Pittsburgh aristocrat.
3) Bush believes in his birthright. He thinks he has the right to be President because he's George Bush.
Running things isn't a burden for him; it's what he does when he feels like it. Right now he feels like it, so anyone who tries to stop him has to be blackballed from the club. (And anyone who tried to kill his daddy had to really be blackballed from the club.)
4) Kerry will think twice and three times before doing nearly anything; Bush has never thought twice about anything in his life. Thinking twice about things is, in his opinion, for losers.
Of the two, I prefer Kerry because he can see America from the outside. Bush can't. Kerry isn't likely to explain that outside perspective during the campaign because the American people don't want to deal right now with the degree to which we're disliked and even despised around the world. But if he's elected it will (I hope) help him make wiser decisions.