Have you noticed how terribly, terribly tired George Bush looks these days? Like every last ounce of energy has been sapped from his being. I actually feel badly for him.
Here is the man who has held the most powerful position in the world for the past eight years and reduced it to something far less. I wonder what his expectations were when he first took office.
Though President-elect Obama tells us there is only one President at a time, it hardly seems so. He's on television all day every day announcing policy and introducing those who's responsibility it will be to carry it out. Bush has been pretty much relegated to giving exit interviews.
I found his talking points memo, titled "Speech Topper on the Bush Record", a sad commentary for it's brevity. Some of the main points included his keeping us safe after 9/11, the lifting of the economy through tax cuts, curbing AIDS in Africa and maintaining the honor and dignity of his office.
Listening to the media pick this apart has been interesting. It would seem to be moot as to whether his actions as President kept us safe after 9/11 or it was so planned by those who attacked us. The economy is anything but stronger. To his credit he did a great deal to curb AIDS in Africa. There is so much more that needs to be addressed that was not.
Maintaining the honor and dignity of the office. Some speculated that meant the absence of a "Lewinsky" type scandal. That's fair, but when you consider the number of our rights that have been diminished if not obiterated, taking us into a war based on faulty intelligence, his fuzzy logic on what is and is not "torture" and the inept response to tragedies of nature within our own borders, I wonder about that dubious "accomplishment".
I wonder if once he's out of office he'll come to see his tenure more as we see it or if he will live out his days believing that history will vindicate his actions because of his pureness of motive.
As most former Presidents, he plans to write a book. I wonder if it will be introspective or defensive. It may have a great deal to do with whether six months out of office he looks rejuvenated or still an exhausted version of his former self. He should look tired. It might indicate he has actually spent some sleepless nights along with we the people he was elected to lead. Introspection may give him some peace. Defensiveness will confirm what many already believe. He never did quite get it.