Yes, it was nauseating. It was like taking a bottle of ipecac. Yet I felt I had to watch President George W. Bush’s last public address. The funny thing is I could’ve written that for him. Everyone who has followed his presidency knew what he was going to say. Bush has always tried to paint himself as a poorly understood tough guy who was never afraid to make decisions, which is exactly what he said in his address. He also had to tell us that the world is a different and dangerous place. Finally, somewhere in the speech, he had to give advice to the incoming president. He had to say something about not losing one’s nerve because this has been a theme of his presidency for the last five long years.
I wish I could tell you that President Bush said something new, but he didn’t. I might go so far as to say he wouldn’t. For the last three years Bush has been on autopilot. He stayed the course. Now was no time for him to change his rhetoric and he didn’t. Tonight ends an eight-week media blitz that President Bush and his administration clumsily performed. It was their attempt to rewrite history. Almost everyone was involved, including former officials like Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer and Andy Card.
For some reason, I don’t think that George Bush and his top administration officials will fade off into the sunset. These neoconservatives understand that history is written by the winners. Therefore, I would not be surprised if we continue to see George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove and a few others continue this “charm” offensive. They’re going to continue to talk up the “great” things that George W. Bush has accomplished. Look for one or two of the Bush insiders to become regulars on a Sunday morning talk show.
From the New York Times:
President Bush defended his two terms in office during a farewell address from the White House on Thursday evening and conceded that he “experienced setbacks” over a tumultuous eight years. But he argued that he kept the country safe following Sept. 11, 2001.
“There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions, but there can be little debate about the results,” Mr. Bush said. “America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil.”
The president spoke to the nation from the East Room of the White House before an audience of nearly 200 people, including family, friends and members of the Cabinet. He also invited about 50 people whom he had met at some point in his presidency, many of whom were parents of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan or families members of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (more… )