Blog: Dave LeggettGeorge Bush legacy

Dave Leggett | 15 December 2008

I guess George Bush is perhaps in a strange limbo at the moment.

Although he is still the President of the USA for a few more weeks, the pressure is mainly off. It’s a time for valedictory speeches, tying up loose ends and maybe enjoying the trappings of office without some of the burdens. The difficult and taxing stuff is about to be handed over en masse to the new guy, so now’s not a time for policy initiatives.

Did you see the footage of that press conference in Iraq yesterday at which a local journalist removed his shoes and threw them, one at a time, at George Dubya? The shoes moved through the air at pace and George had to react pretty smartly to avoid them – especially the first missile which also carried the element of surprise. (Impressive evasive action by GB - I wonder if he plays dodgeball?)

The guy who threw his shoes was making a serious point, but it was a little lost in the slightly comedic slapstick of the moment.

What struck me though, was the interview with Bush afterwards. He seemed very, very relaxed – jovial even – much more relaxed than I have seen him for a while. He’s perhaps already got one eye on a more leisurely existence on his Texas ranch as an ex-President.

But he cannot afford to get completely demob happy. The auto industry’s crisis is perhaps the major thing on his desk that he cannot just leave for the next man – the crisis is just too pressing.

How will the Bush Presidency be remembered? What will the legacy be?

Whatever you think of his tenure, there is probably one thing he doesn’t want to be known as: the President who, in his final days of office, let General Motors die. After the Senate rejected the proposed federal loans package last week, attention has swung to other options for keeping GM in business and out of bankruptcy in the immediate short-term.

Look for something to happen this week.

US: White House signals auto loan turnaround


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