When David Frum entered George Bush's administration as a speech-writer, he was not sure what he was joining. As Mr. Frum points out in his new book, The Right Man, Mr. Bush was determined to bring honor back to the White House after the scandals of the Clinton years. This meant bringing in an evangelically tinged team of people who attended Bible studies regularly, arrived at meetings on time, wore dark suits to the office, and did not smoke, curse, or drink to excess.
Mr. Frum was impressed with the general niceness of the administration, but skeptical of its ability to come up with what he sees as the brilliant ideas needed to run a country. Everything changed after Sept. 11, and Mr. Frum came to see the value of a president who used flexible tactics but had inflexible morals. Mr. Frum, who left his post last year, was never privy to the tightest secrets of the Bush administration, but he provides an early firsthand look at the way the Bush administration performed during a time of national crisis.