For the past few months he has lived by proxy – depicted by Josh Brolin in the movie W, and by Will Ferrell on the Broadway stage. But soon the real Dubya will be back. He might not be celebrated for his command of the English language – but, like most of his White House predecessors, George W Bush is writing his memoirs.
The former president revealed his plans this week in a speech in Canada, his first such venture since leaving office on 20 January. Just two days later, according to Robert Barnett, the Washington "super-lawyer" who negotiated Mr Bush's deal with Crown Publishing, an imprint of Random House, he started writing. Already he has penned an impressive 30,000 words.
As befits the man who referred to himself as "The Decider", the book is provisionally titled Decision Points. It will deal with the most important decisions of his life – including not only the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and his response to Hurricane Katrina, but why he gave up drinking in 1986, his embrace of religion and his relationship with his parents. The book is due out next year, after his wife Laura's own effort hits the bookstores. Indeed, of the former first couple, she is probably the hotter literary property right now.
"I just don't think there's much of a market for Bush out there," a leading literary agent said recently.
There is no word on the advance Mr Barnett secured for his client, but it is unlikely to match Bill Clinton's reported $15m (£10m) deal for his 2004 memoirs My Life.