Thursday, January 15, 2009
A president talking to himself
I'LL GIVE the Bushies this much credit: They sure know how to orchestrate a 13-minute Farewell Address. Unrepentant for the havoc that his administration created around the world and at home, George Walker Bush merely told the nation that if folks are patient, even those whose belongings are out on the lawn of their foreclosed homes, America will do fine. And that's because, except for a few blips here and there, he did fine during his 8 years in office (it seemed twice as long). This was not the old soldier Gen. MacArthur who said he would just fade away. This was a president with ground-level ratings who was blind to his many shortcomings and will leave office unapologetically believing that he was right - courageously right, at that - on all counts. I thought it was clever, too, how the people he praised in the audience were all African-Americans. So there. Obama didn't capture all blacks on Election Day, I guess. It was another conceit on his part that will be forgotten tomorrow. It was not one of Bush's better days - and nights. A plane crash into a river dominated the network news before and after the speech, and - signs of the times - NBC's Brian Williams, late into his news program, said, "By the way" NBC would be carrying Bush's speech at 8. By the way? That's no way to dismiss a presidential epilogue. Unless, of course, it's George Bush's.