Every President, except for George Washington, inherited something from the previous administration. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it is bad.
President Barack Hussein Obama has been talking for quite some time about the “mess” that he inherited from George Walker Bush. He has made references to mops and other allegories to describe the challenges that he has faced. While that is all well and good for the first few days of the Presidency, at a certain point BHO needs to own the problem.
That day is today.
There is no defined time for the honeymoon period of a new candidate. Most people felt that September 11, 2001 was close enough to the inauguration of George Walker Bush (just under 9 months) that the attacks on that dreaded day were at least partially the fault of William Jefferson Clinton. The honeymoon is certainly longer than the first 100 days that are all the talk at the beginning of a term. Everyone seems to agree that it doesn’t extend beyond a year from the date the person is elected.
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This is a great book. Everyone should read it (or listen to it).
I just finished the Audible version of this book. It was excellent. Here are some learnings:
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- James Earl Carter was more incompetent than even I thought he was.
- William Jefferson Clinton was not as incompetent at Carter, but he was close.
- George Walker Bush did a pretty good job with most of the Mideast, did a plausible job of getting rid of Saddam (which the book admits had to happen) and then bungled the reconstruction. Okay, this really wasn’t a big learning but it was worth noting.
- Ronald Wilson Reagan did an excellent job with the Middle East as did Nixon and Ford. George Herbert Walker Bush barely gets a mention which is surprising since he put together the coalition to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.
A lot of noise was made about how George Walker Bush ruined our relations in the international community. I have discounted this since international relations are always opportunistic and this is a perfect case in point.
Mexico has been a close friend to the United States for decades. The President of Mexico was always warmly greeted by GWB and I am sure that Barack Hussein Obama will greet him warmly as well. But the confusing signals that BHO has sent on NAFTA combined with the foolish blocking of Mexican trucks (surely a concession to the politically powerful Teamsters) have triggered a needless and foolish international crisis and show the lack of multi-dimensional thinking that is required to run this country.
Now this foolish move is going to cost us billions in tariffs on goods that we ship to Mexico. Hurting our economy by violating NAFTA in a down economy is not something we should be doing. Offending our international friends is also something we shouldn’t be doing.
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For the past decade or two, Ronald Wilson Reagan set the standard as “The Great Communicator” while he was President of the United States. There is no question that he excelled over the many bumblings of George Walker Bush as David Letterman has so aptly recorded for us!
However, it is already clear that President Barack Hussein Obama is going to take the mantle of the Great Communicator if he hasn’t already done so.
Here are some of his accomplishments so far:
Congratulations to BHO and his staff on all of this. I am sure that it has been quite difficult! Our government has never been the center of excellence for the use of technology. Clinton’s team was extremely frustrated at the lack of technology when they moved into the building.
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I have written about the legacy of George Walker Bush several times on this site. Most notably, I did a 5 part series that tried to answer the question if GWB is the worst President ever. Now I read an opinion by Thomas Fleming, who is one of the most respected and well written presidential historians that we should all take a long sigh and relax for a bit before grading the man.
I respect the work of Mr. Fleming (and the WSJ) to quote too much of his article on this site. Please go to their site and read the full opinion but here are some highlights that I thought were interesting.
Several polls of historians have named George W. Bush the worst
president in American history. This baffles me. I’ve been writing about
presidents for a long time. What I know, and what I presume these
gentleman know, doesn’t connect.
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The current President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, has had a very troubled start to his Presidency. Not only did he inherit a mess in the economy, but he has had multiple mis-steps in his selection of his cabinet and advisors. While the tax problems with Daschle and others have plagued the first few nominations, now there is even some concern about his most important advisor, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. There has also been some criticism for his first international discussions, the first phone call he made to a foreign power was to President Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority.
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As I write this, George W. Bush is only a few days away from the end of his 8 year Presidency. Earlier, I had graded Mr. Bush on a variety of major factors but I felt that I left off a huge number of things that he and his administration did or did not do. This list is the result of trying to be more inclusive. Many items on this list are actions by the Mr. Bush and his administration and some of them are inactions.
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