'They Eat Puppies, Don't They?'

at 10:00 AM
 (Wikimedia Commons)

Former George H. W. Bush senior speech writer and author Christopher Buckley returns to Forum to talk about his latest book, "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?" It's a comic novel satirizing U.S.-China relations, political subterfuge and America's ongoing fascination with the Dalai Lama.

Interview Excerpts:

On writing and Joseph Heller:

I was a friend of Joe Heller's and rather a close friend and Catch-22 is probably the great satire of the 20th century. I was very tickled to be asked to write the introduction to the 50th anniversary editiion to Catch-22. Catch-22 was first published in October of 1961 and it never made the New York Times Bestseller List and has since sold 20 million copies. So to all you writers out there who don't make the New York Times Bestseller List at first, hang in there.

Most writers will say that if you come up with interesting characters they'll do a lot of the work themselves.

Guests:

Christopher Buckley, former chief speechwriter for George H.W. Bush, founder and editor-in-chief of Forbes FYI magazine and author of books including "The White House Mess," "Wet Work" and "Thank You for Smoking"

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On his parents:

Caller -- Ellen from Alameda: "I've been wanting to say this for a long time… I miss your parents. I never thought I would miss your parents. But not realizing that your father had kept the barbarians at the gate when it came to the Republican Party. And the housewife shows -- I see New York society and just like, 'Where's Pat?' I think more importantly, the more I hear you speak and your writing, that they did a good job raising you and it's just great seeing you become very much the individual that you are."

On his father and the Tea Party:

Pop died in February of 2008. The Tea Party, the term, was invented by Rick Santelli of CNN later in the year. He was asked, my dad, towards the end of his life, what he made of what the conservative movement had become. He answered in a very WFB way. He said that he thought that the modern conservative movement was in need of repristination, which probably sent everyone scurrying to the Oxford English Dictionary. He had a way with words, my old man.

On endorsing Obama in 2008:

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It was October and I just couldn't take it anymore. So I wrote what I thought was a reasoned 700-800 word column saying that I would, I was going to vote for President Obama -- 60% of it was because I like Obama and 40% of it had to do with my misgivings over the McCain-Palin ticket. They put a heading on that blog post that frankly I didn't like. You can see why they did it, but it was silly. It was "Sorry Dad, I'm voting for Obama."

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