"You look much more relaxed." "No kidding. Duh."
VIDEO: George W. Bush on Leno, just so you remember a real man as president
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There’s no sense pretending this is anything other than what it is. I present to you a taste of what we had not all that long ago, and for the most part failed to appreciate as we should, so you can compare this man’s honesty and sense of perspective to the narcissistic poseur who is in the Oval Office today.
If you want to jump into a whole big debate about whether Bush was a “true conservative” or whatever, knock yourself out, I guess. That’s not the point of comparison I care about here.
What I love most about Bush is in many ways the very thing that caused the self-appointed intelligensia to hate him so much: He just doesn’t care. He cares about the country, of course, but he is entirely unconcerned about his “legacy” or about what anyone else thinks about him. You can try to call that an act if you want, but Bush’s own actions since leaving office argue against your case. He has rarely assumed the spotlight to defend his presidency or his policies, and true to his word in this interview, he almost never criticizes Obama.
It drives the Beltway crowd crazy that Bush doesn’t miss being president, doesn’t miss the limelight and is perfectly happy retired and living in Dallas. It’s because they can’t relate to the way Bush thinks, which is to say that a person who has no need for fame and adulation is an unheard-of creature in their world.
The bottom line for Bush is that the presidency was never about him. It was about serving. And when it was time to go, he had no trouble accepting that because it was time.
Contrast that with Obama, for whom the presidency is all about him, which is why he can never take responsibility and he can often not bring himself to tell the truth about what he said, what he did, what he knew or what he intends to do. Nothing that makes Obama look bad or sets him up for criticism can be allowed.
It was nice when we had a president who understood it was not about him.
Miss him yet?