George W. Bush gives live-streamed interview to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

By Monica Hesse
Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 8:15 AM

Former president George W. Bush and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had at least one mind-meld during the former president's live-streamed Facebook interview Monday afternoon.

"A lot of times when you're the president, your hand is forced," said Bush, speaking of his decision-making during the financial crisis at the end of his term in 2008. "You gotta make a call."

"What you're saying rings true," said Zuckerberg, who opted to wear his trademark hoodie for the hour-long conversation with the former leader of the free world. "Whether it seems like there's a choice to other people or not, it often doesn't seem like there's a choice [to you]."

Zuckerberg likened the president's unpopularity to his own maligned decisions, which he said were made with the goal of helping people "connect in all of these different ways" and, presumably, play Farmville.

This event was the first time that a former president had been interviewed live on Facebook. The occasion was the promotion of the president's new memoir, "Decision Points."

Aside from a few anecdotes (Russia's then-president Vladmir Putin dissed Bush's dog; Bush once used his favorite Bush impersonator to confuse one of his brothers), the author stayed on message:

"I'm an iPad person," he said. "I hope that you buy my book in hard copy and electronically."

Also: "I got 'Decision Points' on my iPod."

Also: Zuckerberg has "got a lot of people paying attention. And I'm trying to sell books."

The president, who infamously referred to the World Wide Web as "The Internets" on two separate occasions, managed to refrain from misusing the "I" word in this interview. When asked which technology he regularly used, however, he responded:

"I use the Facebook."

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