Former President Fields Questions at Facebook HQ
CREDIT: Facebook Live
Former president George W. Bush today was interviewed at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., to promote his autobiography “Decision Points,” which was released earlier this month. It was his only book tour appearance scheduled in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Bush is the first U.S. president to be interviewed on Facebook . He joined the social networking site in June of this year and currently has around 612,000 people who “like him” on Facebook.
The hour-long interview, which attracted more than 6,000 people at its peak, was moderated by general counsel Ted Ullyot, a former Bush staffer. For his part, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg, remained a silent listener at Bush's side, taking the president's jabs at his lack of college degree along with compliments on his success as Facebook's leader equally well.
But Bush poked fun at himself as well, disarming the audience with his opening remark, "People didn’t think I could read, much less write."
When asked why he chose Facebook headquarters for his only Bay Area stop, Bush replied, "Because you got a lot of people paying attention to us and I’m trying to sell books."
Bush fielded questions from Facebook employees who attended the event and from Facebook users who submitted questions via Facebook’s Live Stream. Topics ranged from his thoughts on what it takes to be a successful leader in the face of criticism ("not whining") to foreign policy in Iraq where he believes democracy will be "transformative."
The only heated moment came when Ullyot began a question about the recent Wikileak incident and Bush cut him off to voice his strong opinion regarding leaks in the media.
"People who leak should be prosecuted," Bush said.
He wound up the interview with "gentler" advice for parents to love their kids unconditionally, citing his father and former President George H.W. Bush.
Bush’s publisher Crown Publishing Group recently announced “Decision Points” had sold 1.1 million copies including 135,000 e-books . Bush joined Barack Obama and Bill Clinton as presidential authors who sold more than 1 million books.
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