An excerpt from the CJR Campaign Desk interview with Philip Gourevitch, staff writer at The New Yorker, where he wrote an in-depth profile of John Kerry.

I think it’s very interesting that in this election, the complaint from the press quite often is that Kerry has not made his story accessible to the public, he has not made himself familiar, that people don’t know who he is. Which is really interesting considering that the guy he’s running against has no story at all, and considering that we live in this age of the politician who must have the story, the anecdotal story. [Bush] is born to extraordinary privilege into an intensely insular, emotionally repressed, dynastic family. He grows up with extremely mediocre performances and seeming to have neither interests nor excellence in any field, except he’s a good partier in college and he seems to be able to collect people around him. He has some kind of power there in his ability to make connections with people. He drifts through his 20s. He becomes an alcoholic — and an ugly one. He failed serially at businesses. None of this is stuff [Bush] could ever mention again, nor is it ever mentioned except, supposedly, hostilely. In other words if you mention it, it’s considered hostile rather than a matter of fact and of record which all of it is. And then, the idea is, all of that is completely erased and redeemed through a conversion experience. It’s a very weird story. One doesn’t feel that one knows [Bush].