Eight years ago, there was the promise of a new presidency. I (and many others) thought that George W. Bush had the potential to be one of the greatest presidents in history–that he was at least in the same ballpark as Ronald Reagan.
In the end, we were left with mostly disappointment. Promises such as Social Security reform never even got out of the starting gate; we saw massive increases in the commitments of the Federal Government without the resources to cover them; we continue to fight a war that, if fought properly, would have been over long ago. Instead, it has become a wildly unpopular war.
His crowning achievement is that we have gone more than 7 years without a follow-up to the 9/11 attacks. I don’t think this is an accident and I don’t think it should be minimized.
I think that history (long after we are all gone) will judge George W much gentler than we have. Another massive terrorist attack would have tanked the economy even more than it has been already.
Despite some obvious failures, I do not think we can doubt his character, his intentions, or his love for this country. Despite the pundits, I really believe he did what he thought was right all along. I don’t believe any of it was self-seving.
He could have earned much more in the private sector than he did as president. No, I believe that this last 8 years was a labor of love. The overwhelming majority of us could not handle this job–nor tolerate it vs. the pay given.
GW took on the challenge and did the best that he could. For that, we need honor and thank him for his commitment to his country.
Thanks George W. Bush, for your service to our country.