Not only does White House advisor Karl Rove love Josh Bolten, President Bush’s new Chief of Staff “in an entirely appropriate way,” but it turns out that Bolten is also the White House’s unofficial Judaism Guru. This according to a recent book by Ronald Kessler titled Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady.
“I would have dinner with the family at the Governor’s Mansion or at the ranch,” Bolten is quoted as saying… While not Orthodox, Bolten does not eat shellfish and eats meat only when it is served in a kosher home or restaurant, Kessler found… “I didn’t make a big deal of it, but she [Laura] noticed that I would just pass on certain items of food,” Bolten says. “She was sensitive to that.” Laura would make sure to include a vegetarian alternative like a grilled Portobello mushroom with melted cheese… “She doesn’t pepper you with questions, but she would ask interesting questions about the Jewish holidays or the meaning of the rituals,” Bolten said. “Whenever I was over for a meal, they would say grace. They would ask me to say grace in Hebrew and ask for the translation.” When Bush became president, Laura held the first Hanukkah lighting and party in the White House and served the first entirely kosher meal there.
The book also reveals the lessons learnt by President Bush after visiting the Holocaust Museum and the deep impact it had on him. Yeah. It’s a tad saccharine.
Karl Rove, you may recall, is alleged to be the person who revealed the secret identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame in order to get back at her husband, retired ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, for his criticism of Bush’s justifications for the war in Iraq. Love fest or no love fest, Bolten does not yet seem to have revealed his bubbe’s secret cholent recipe to the White House kitchen staff.