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September 23rd, 2010
03:00 PM ET

Why do presidents cooperate with Woodward on books about them?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In 1974, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon with their reporting on Watergate.

The cover art for Bob Woodward's latest book: 'Obama's Wars'
The cover art for Bob Woodward's latest book: 'Obama's Wars'

But Bob Woodward was just getting started on the occupants of the White House.

In 1994, he wrote "The Agenda" about President Clinton, in which he revealed disputes, temper tantrums and heated debates in the president's second year in office.

In 2004 he wrote "Plan of Attack" about Pres. George W. Bush in which he famously revealed how CIA Director George Tenet told Bush it was a "slam dunk case" that Saddam Hussein had WMDs.

In 2006, he wrote "State of Denial" - also about Bush - and revealed how the president failed to tell the truth about how badly the Iraq war was going.

Woodward's 16 books are all bestsellers. He's a writer/reporter who stays on the story until he has something no one else has.

It used to be said the worst news you could get at the office is "60 Minutes is on the phone and wants to talk to you." The idea being that no good would come of a conversation with them.

The same applies to Bob Woodward.

So you have to wonder, looking at his body of work, why anyone would open the door to him when he knocks and says he wants to write a book about the president. But that's exactly what the Obama administration did.

The result is Woodward's latest, "Obama's Wars."

How good or bad it will be for the Obama White House remains to be seen. But it's too late to worry about that now.

Here’s my question to you: Why do presidents choose to cooperate with Bob Woodward when he wants to write a book about them?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jan in Atlanta writes:
The same thing that makes one think they have the tools to run a country makes then think they can control one pesky reporter.

John in Watertown, Massachusetts writes:
Easy answer on this one: Any individual who wants this thankless job has such a towering belief in themselves that even when they do wrong, they simply do not believe that it matters one bit. Bush lied, he knows it, but what does he care? His main concern is the building of a library which will bear his name.

Bob in Louisville, Kentucky writes:
They're probably afraid that if they don't co-operate they will have to undergo the type of scrutiny that led up to Watergate.

Eric writes:
Hubris. They never consider the possibility that the book will portray them badly.

Paulette in Pennsylvania writes:
They cooperate with Woodward because they know that he's going to get the information anyway.

Dennis in Minneapolis writes:
Not cooperating is probably even worse.

N. writes:
I think presidents participate because if they did not, their side of the story would be told by someone else or would not be told at all. Participating with someone like Woodward shows courage and confidence! No administration gets everything right all of the time. Hats off to those that are brave enough to tell it like it is!

Frank writes:
It's vanity, Jack. They all think they are a gift to us all and that their view of how great they are is shared by everyone. Their mirror has a flaw filter.


Filed under: News Media • President Barack Obama
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Paul Round Rock Texas

    Hello Jack. It must be because many people read Woodward's books. The presidents he writes about want their two cents to be part of the book. Whatever their two cents are worth.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  2. John from Alabama

    Jack: I do not know, but if President George W. Bush cooperated with Bob Woodward, I would really have to think along time before cooperating with good old Bob. I do not believe President George W. Bush is a president you would want to follow. I guess they believe it is best way to get their story out anyway they can. I believe it is a lame way forward.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  3. Joanne

    Ego ! They think they are being exalted ! However, the dumbest Presidents state some of the dumbest sentences ie Obama.
    Joanne
    Mn

    September 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  4. Brian, Baton Rouge

    Ego.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  5. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Woodward wrote 4 books, none of them complementary, about the Bush Administration where there was some internal cooperation. You would have thought one book would have been enough.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  6. Akra Don

    Because he scratches their back in return, becoming THE authoritative last word on whatever subtlely incorporated underlying spin the administration wants set in stone. It's not obvious, Woodward is expert at it, but it's always there.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  7. Gary H. Boyd

    Woodward's reputation is such that to not cooperate with him could imply there's something to hide. Better to be on offense than defense is therefore the game plan when playing with Bob Woodward. Memories of the Richard Nixon era are reminders to all presidents since. So, it;s "Come on over Bob, let's have coffee and a talk". Out here in Arizona we'd call it - CIRCLING THE WAGONS.

    Gary Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  8. southerncousin

    As the last 19 months have shown so clearly, this president is certainly not the best or the brightest, in fact he has proven to be the worst and the dimmest.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  9. Leslie

    Really I do not know. Why would you want someone to put out a book about your administration before it's over? Public pressure? Transparency? Na just stupidity I think.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  10. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    Because he's got the pictures.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  11. g cunningham

    Jack, The simple answer is fear. Look what he did to Nixon.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  12. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    This is a no-brainer.

    Presidents cooperate with Woodward because he is, as you point out, a REAL pitbull (sorry Sarah) when it comes to getting a story.

    My guess is two things make Woodward really dig into the muck around any president (good muck or bad). One, if the president does NOT cooperate. Second, if the president seems to be cooperating too readily. Both situations call for an in-depth look, and woodward is good at in-de[pth.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  13. Butch in SC

    Maybe they trust Bob Woodward will tell a good story eliminating the negatives.... or they're afraid someone else might come along and write a worse story, telling ALL the facts and hurting them. In the end, more than likely it's just plain PRIDE.... they feel "important" and want to brag.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  14. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    I don't really know why they do other than they are afraid that if they don't he'll make up something and people will believe it. Actually, it is probably more ego than anything which always seems to get us humans in a lot of trouble.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  15. tomtrapani, quito, ecuador

    Jack, could it be they want to our without spin? When was the last time you hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the Obama presidency.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  16. Simon, FL

    Woodward is a geat journalist and tells it like it is. Unlike most journalists these days, he doesn't seem biased to the right or left. He just reports what he sees without a political judgement.

    September 23, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  17. Bizz Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Woodward is the type of a writer that is respected and known for his factual reporting. He doesn't show any biased either way when writing a book. His books always end up on the bestseller list. So I guess the presidents feel if they want their side of the story heard they are better off cooperating with a writer of Woodward's stature then someone with a questionable character looking to do a hatchet job on them.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  18. Eric - Houston

    They either believe P. T. Barnum's “All publicity is good publicity” or it is further proof that Abraham Lincoln was right about being able to fool all of the people some of the time.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  19. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, maybe it's because people trust Woodward to tell the truth, and the presidents hope that what Woodward writes will show them in a more favorable light than what history might.

    Or maybe they're just masochists.
    Allen
    Hartwell GA

    September 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  20. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl all of our egotistical presidents since nixon think they are above the, and don't leave evidence laying around any more. mr. woodward is just being vetted, to see if there is someone inside the white house trying to get a little of the actual truth out to a very naive public. how else do you explain no successful impeachments for breaking our laws or prosecutions for war crimes of any president since nixon. each one comes into the office and promises not to "look back" or look to closely.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  21. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    They have no choice Jack. He'll write his book with or without their cooperation so they all agree to keep him happy and kiss his butt and hope for a good review.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  22. Independent Joe

    Jack,

    They fear that if they deny Woodward it would give the appearance that they have something to hide. That, of course, would lead to a much deeper investigation by Woodward and his team.
    The way I see it; Obama had no choice. Remember his promise to run a more transparent government? I would say that put him between a Barack and a hard spot when Woodward came a knocking.

    Joe M (Mn)

    September 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  23. Fay in Abilene, Texas

    Kitty Kelley probably wasn't available.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  24. Conor in Chicago

    Not unlike a good portion of the media, my guess is Woodword says somthing to the effect of, "People believe and trust me. So, give me what I want or I will make stuff up and people will think it is true".

    September 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  25. Olga

    On this particular question, could it be that Woodward has a very reputable reputation in his career? He is credible, thorough and does research to support his writing...

    Olga
    Austin, Tx

    September 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  26. Lou Averitt

    Because he is the best because he knows how to tell the truth with a silk velvet touch, and, people buy his books.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  27. Linda

    Jack Maybe its because they trust him. They know that he will quote them and not print lies about them as so many other writers do. Plus, hasn't he written other books?

    September 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  28. Tina Tx

    Probably because he is the only person who pays full attention to them. Personally, I think he needs to slither back under his rock.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  29. Gail, Plano TX

    Gee, Jack. First, I don't know why the Presidents allow Bob Woodward into their inner circle to write about their presidencies. But then again, I also do not understand why Presidents talk to pundits on TV, only to have them parse their every syallable and critique every sentence. If I were President, I would say, write about me when I'm gone. Right now, I've got a job to do!

    September 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  30. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Bob Woodward is a person a president, or anybody with power, wants on his or her side. If Woodward goes into full attack mode, things get nasty for the recipient.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  31. Ed from California

    Was he the Robert Redford character or the Dustin Hoffman's character? Bob Woodward is living in the past and wants to be relevant, again. I did read his book about Bush Jr. "The War Within". It was...alright. I guess both of our presidents try to as open as they can with the media.....only to get bit on the butt. So now he's writing a similar book with different names with the same war. Now, that's entertainment. Sadly, as were all seeing now, Hate sells!

    September 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  32. mark......in Houston

    Jack.....

    Possibly it's the politicians version of preparing for the inevitable meeting at the PEARLY GATES.

    Those with any conscious know that the truth must be told eventually, and Mr. Woodward seems to be the chosen confessor.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  33. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    They cooperate with Woodward because they know that he's going to get the information anyway.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  34. Eric Platt

    Hubris. They never consider the possibility that the book will portray them badly.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  35. Jody in Austin, Texas

    Maybe they are afraid Kitty Kelley might write her own if they don't?

    September 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  36. Loren

    Jack, is the President or his staff that is doing the cooperating? I'd that it's back-stabbing staffers who are privy to these conversations and decide that their political interests are best served by exploiting their access and painting the picture that they want told.

    But should we be complaining? So long as Woodward gets it right, I hope that he and others like him are around a long time. Democracy flourishes in the light, despotism in the dark.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  37. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Great question Jack, but do you really think any of us outside of "the media" have a clue, let alone the answer?

    September 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  38. Mary

    because if they didn't .. he would write a book about what they are trying to hide and the conspiracy theories would run amuck.....I say BAN him completely....

    September 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  39. Joe CE

    Mpst politicians including President craxe publicity anf tjink than whatever they have done is the right thing. Woodward books have been increasingly less meaningful. He is living off Deep Throat.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  40. Rich - TX

    Jack, There is something thing that is bi-partisan and that is all Presidents EGO's. They assume that there are nothing but good things to say about them. That and Woodward is obviously very good at his job.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  41. Peg from N.Y.

    Ego.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  42. Susan from Birmingham, Al.

    Who knows why? The liberal press has been in aw of him ever since
    he got Nixon. That just seems to be his claim to fame. If Presidents
    were smart they would stay clear of him. Nothing good has ever come
    from Woodward.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  43. JENNA

    Why do presidents choose to cooperate with Bob Woodward when he wants to write a book about them?

    Transperancy maybe or maybe another way to get their messages out there..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    September 23, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  44. Tony from Southport NC

    Too bad Bob Woodward wasn't around during WWII. I would have loved to have seen what FDR would have done if Woodward had written about how badly the war against the Japanese and the Nazis was going. Different times when Americans wanted to win wars and not play politics with the lives of our military and civilians. Go get 'em Woodward!

    September 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  45. Bob Fleming

    They probably are afraid that if they don't co-operate they will have to undergo the type of scrutiny that led up to Watergate.

    Bob
    Louisville, Ky

    September 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
  46. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Jack

    It's very simple... Like any good politician, these Presidents know that they can mitigate the damages by making themselves available to Woodward.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  47. EE Wiese

    Woodward has too much leverage and Presidents must think it's the thing to do. I think Woodward is a know it all and is an ego,and can cause a lot of trouble by stirring up the media in the wrong direction.If I were President I would not let woodward on the premise to attend meetings on a need to know basis. Gene

    September 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  48. Ed

    Because it doesn't matter which direction they steer people from the truth.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  49. Jan Muehlhauser

    From Atlanta
    The same thing that makes one think they have the tools to run a country makes then think they can control one pesky reporter.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  50. Dennis from Minneapolis, MN

    Not cooperating is probably even worse as far as publicity goes.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  51. Kevin

    Because if they didnt cooperate that would be a different book.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  52. Overby from Melbourne

    Pure ego, Jack, pure ego. Someone with so much pure ego that they spend hundreds of millions of dollars getting into the White House instead of spending it on needy people or charitable organizations would do whatever it takes to see their names in print or their faces on TV. Why else do we see Bill Clinton every day?

    September 23, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  53. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    Bob Woodward is a person a president, or anybody with power, wants on his or her side. If Woodward goes into full attack mode, things get nasty for the recipient

    September 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  54. Independent Voter

    I think it is called hubris.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  55. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Because anyone looney enough to want to be President is bound to have a secret wish to be memorialized forever and it makes no difference to them whether it is in a good light or bad.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  56. Brian (From Chicago)

    It's better to 'Bob' & weave than leave yourself open for a cheap shot.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
  57. Mike, NH

    Jack, most have egos the size of Greenland; except of course for Obama, who has an ego the size of Asia.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  58. Angela Savage Austin

    Why not?...unless you have something to hide!

    September 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  59. Susan Frost

    Because anyone with an ego massive enough to think he/she can successfully lead the free world just can't resist the urge to talk about himself/herself to anyone who'll listen. You probably have to be insane to run for President, so it's just an example of the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    September 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  60. Ralph Spyer

    " Follow the money"Deep throat to Woodward.Woodward is a hawk circling a poultry ranch.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  61. katiec Pekin, IL

    Perhaps one hopes Woodward would show some integrity.
    Or, could it be that, let's say, the opposition party would rave about lack of transparency, roar that our president has something to hide??
    Hmm, that seems to be a more viable reason.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  62. Pete from Georgia

    Why ??
    One word.

    Ego.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  63. Mari, Utah

    Jack, Woodward is a brilliant man, that's why,

    September 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  64. Carroll Hoke

    If I remember correctly, when Woodward wrote about President Bush, you were all about Bush's failings. When Woodward writes about President Obama, it's all about Woodward. Hmmm.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  65. Griff

    "Skeletons have 'bones to pick'! Obama hope's his won't be seen in the dark."

    September 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  66. Steve

    It is one of two things, I think, The first is a desire to show everyone the complexity of their decisions that need to be made..The second is a fear of what would be written if they didn't grant the access....

    September 23, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  67. Anthony from NJ

    Bob Woodard is one of my heroes in that he and Bernstein brought down a deluded and paranoid president. But for any president , thereafter, to deny access to Woodward is proving he or she has something to hide and amounts to political suicide.
    For Obama, who promised more transparency, this was a no-brainer. Like it or not, Bob Woodward is a necessary evil we all need to keep the fourth pillar of democracy as our watchdog when politicians fudge the truth. Keep on shining the light on the dark halls of government.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  68. Eve Lemon

    They probably hope to slant what he writes. And are probably afraid to refuse him. Think of the ramifications. EL

    September 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  69. Scott Stodden

    That's A Good Question Jack Especially When It Seems Like Every Book That Bob Woodward Writes Is About Slamming American Presidents However In All His Books You Can't Say That Bob Woodward's Books Are Untrue, Everything He Writes Is Accurate Information And Although All The Presidents He Wrote About They Probably Didn't Appreciate What He Wrote It Does Give The Presidents Popularity!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    September 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  70. Troy Ives

    Why not Jack? After all they do work for us (well they are supposed to)

    September 23, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  71. Samantha

    Maybe because the presidents know that if anyone can speak the truth, it's Woodward. He has the proven history obviously. What does Woodward have to gain about exaggeration or twisting the truth? If the president has nothing to hide, let it all be told. I, for one, am sick of the hate e-mails, messages, and lies going around about our present Commander in Chief – it needs to stop.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  72. Steve Roescher

    Jack, It's fairly simple...you grant Woodward access and at the very least you can hope his reporting is accurate. If the adminstration cuts Wodward out, it is at their own peril. Really a no win situation either way.

    Castle Rock, Colorado

    September 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  73. Nspireu

    I think Presidents participate because if they did not-there side of the story would be told by someone else or would not be told at all. Participating with someone like Woodward shows courage and confidence! No administration gets everything right all of the time. Hats off to those that are brave enough to tell it like it is!

    September 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  74. Don from Chicago

    Because even if it hurts, an intelligent, nonpartisan, and objective, outsiders point of view, adds clarity. He's like a consultant whose deliverable is possibly painful but ultimately the most accurate account of of the situation in their room.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  75. frank

    Its vanity Jack. They all think they are a gift to us all and that their view of how great they are is shared by everyone. Their mirror has a flaw filter.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  76. Phil A. Jacksonville NC

    Because any american who has the tenacity to become President also possesses the associated ego to truly believe they are doing it better than those "otther" presidents who were "ripped" by Woodward.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  77. john j. grimes watertown, ma.

    Easy answer on this one. Any individual who wants this thankless job has such a towering belief in themselves that even when they do wrong, they simply do not believe that it matters one bit. Bush lied, he knows it, but what does he care. His main concern is the building of a library which will bear his name even though his incompetence has resulted in nothing good for this country.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  78. john mcluskey

    they chose to cooperate because if they dont he will raise more questions then might be answered and the pen is mightier then the sword.. when a person like woodward has the type of pull he has you really cant deny him..

    September 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  79. Mark McCreary, Houston Texas

    Why? Simple. Their sense of self importance. In other words: Ego.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  80. PiedType

    Every one of them thinks he alone has no serious flaws or shortcomings for Woodward to expose. And every one of them has been wrong.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  81. thom richer

    Humility does not go with public office these days. Especially for the office of president. So I would have to believe it is one's enormous ego that must be satisfied. Even if by doing so, you are not portrayed as the god you think you are. Oh, do you think they share in the book's profits also?

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    September 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  82. PiedType

    Every one of them thinks he alone has no serious flaws or shortcomings for Woodward to expose. And every one of them has been wrong.

    Sarah
    Denver, CO

    September 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  83. John Winthrop in central California

    Why do presidents choose to cooperate with Bob Woodward when he
    wants to write a book about them?
    Because they know Woodward will AT LEAST get it right, and it's
    always better to take the heat for the truth than to react to blind
    conjecture from someone with lesser skills who is also truly antagonistic..

    September 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  84. Ron- Bodega Bay, CA

    Jack:
    Common sense prevails when it come to Woodward. Think about it-wouldn't you rather have Woodward give the straight scoop on you rather than denying him access, and possibly writing about the presidency from hear say? Obviously none of these guys he wrote about are Sunday school teacher material.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  85. Bob from Baltimore

    It is called freedom of press. But is it also accuracy of press. Woodward's name has been respected. I hope he is accurate.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  86. Darren Johnson

    Two words, Jack: myopic vanity. I believe these presidents spend so much time defending their successes as they see them that they begin to believe their own spin. They drink the kool-aid so much that they must think there are only good things to write about them. Of course, Bob knows better. Mr. Woodward must be one irresistably persuasive individual.

    Darren in Fairbanks, Alaska

    September 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  87. Tiana Stirewalt

    Tiana Stirewalt
    Berlin, Maryland

    That is a very good question to pose actually! If I were a President I would try to steer clear of answering to him at all. Though there must be a sort of fear involved if they did not speak with him. Perhaps there is the concern that he will make less than kind comments about them if they were to refuse. Or for some maybe it just simply is, as the quote goes (and I am paraphrasing), "Bad publicity is still publicity." While a President is not an actor or a singer; they are still a figure that is shown on television and in newspapers just as much.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  88. Charlie Everett WA.

    Jack,

    Whether or not the public agrees, presidents and their staffs believe they are making the best choices for the country. They know Woodward is a capable, credible writer, and they trust that when he sees and hears what they are trying to do for the nation, he will report it accurately and citizens are likely to endorse their programs. Sometimes the politicians are deluded by their own "goodness."

    September 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  89. Rick McDaniel

    He obviously is very persuasive, in getting the information he wants to write his books.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  90. Teddy Bart

    Jack,
    Presidents talk to Bob Woodward because every President believes they can outwit the enemy in a one-on-one meeting. It takes that kind of ego to get to the White House. For example, Obama is under the delusion that he can convince Ahmadinejad to make peace if the Iranian president would meet with him face to face.

    Teddy from Nashville, TN.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  91. Tom Prall

    It sort of makes you wonder. What did they expect , you let in a reporter and he report. Enough said.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  92. Edna Volk

    Every administration has its Achilles heel and its Deep Throat. These politicos would rather show Woodward their heel than have him find their Throat.

    Wesport, NY

    September 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  93. Chuck in Ohio

    Jack: Woodward is a fair and honest reporter, unlike some of todays reporters!!

    September 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  94. Greg

    Woodward would likely write a book anyway so the subject of such a book probably assumes it's better to get his side to Woodward personally.

    There needs to be a thorough book written on Woodward himself...how he got started at the Post, specifically his CIA connections at the time when CIA director Bush Sr. et al. Republicans wanted Nixon out. Bush Sr. would have rather been chosen over Agnew for VP., Nixon did not trust the East Coast establishment that Bush2 was very much a part of. Woodward has managed to deceive his peers very well.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  95. Gary Bryant

    A president who is honest and forthright speaks to a Bob Woodward for the same reason that freedom of the press is in the FIRST Amendment to the Constitution. The eleven presidents I have lived through all considered themselves honest and forthright. History, and journalists, have shown this was not always the case. Mr Woodward is not a scandal monger, he is just a really good journalist.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  96. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Maybe the presidents worried about what Bob would write if there wasn't any coopereration.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  97. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    Because Presidents are surrounded by yes-men who pump up their egos and assure them that all is well and that they are doing a magnificent job. The Presidents believe them.
    Woodward's books then show the warts, when the Presidents thought they had beautiful complexions.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  98. Anthony Ward

    Good books live on forever and every president, good or bad want to be immortalize . No better way to do it but by sitting down with Bob.
    Anthony, Tallahassee,FL

    September 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  99. David in Tampa

    Follow the money Jack. Having Woodward's name on the book is worth at least another big bunch of money in the bank.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  100. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    To get a cut of the royalties .

    September 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  101. June

    i think any White House has a certain arrogance which causes them to believe that they can "handle" Woodward and they will come up smelling like roses.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  102. Karl from SF, CA

    Bob Woodward is about as reputable as you can get in the business. His past work shows that and it's better to give him the real story than make him dig it up and not get it all or not get it right.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  103. John H. (in Oregon)

    I dunno, Jack, it seems to me that the only people qualified to answer this question are those who have read Woodward’s book. (I’m not one of ‘em.)

    Why do Presidents cooperate with Woodward? Well, maybe the Presidents fear what Woodward might write if he were left to his own devices, if he were not allowed access to the inner sanctum.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  104. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I believe most presidents have read Woodward's books about their predecessors and are well prepared for the same. Besides, history books don't really give such detailed insight of a president and they are also boring.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  105. Bob Spads

    Well, I have to admit, the Obama administration has been the most open presidency to date. I’m not sure it really matters in this day and age considering the obtrusively badgering media culture levied against our elected officials. I’m sure if the president had a dream one night it would be headline news before breakfast. Considering Woodward, his day was with Nixon, and, the whole thing with “deep throat” was simply an over dramatization. In my opinion he has never reached that level of interest again. Really, nobody fears Woodward anymore.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  106. ken from connecticut

    They respect Bob Woodword! And only understanding to the readers will come forth! Believe it or not! They cooperate because, the presidents know that those that can discern, will see the history that has been made, ( He's not after anybody ) , and make an honest judgement, hopefully in their favor!

    September 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  107. Jeff In Minnesota

    Good question. An even better one is; why is someone writing a book about a sitting administration? IT used to be that we found out about these things a year or two after leaving office. Have we now become so desperate that we have to know about an administration's foibles in real time? Isn't that what CNN is for?

    September 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  108. Docb

    May as well do it and get it over with..He is going to write something. He has not written anything of import since he had a writing partner.

    He is harmless anyway. He just needs the money and time on TV.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  109. Leo Botsford

    He will be easy writing about the left this time.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  110. Ted

    I am sure the president was advised what to say and what not to say. Woodward will go easy on our first black president . If he said anything negitive about Obama ........ He would be out of a job,and then he would try for yours.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  111. Pete from Tarrytown

    If you're going to write a book about me I want you to get your "facts" from me, not from someone who may not have my interest foremost in their mind.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  112. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    Would you want to have some say in what people write about you, Jack? It's purely self-interest.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  113. Charlene

    1 word Fear

    September 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm |