With only 1 week left, current U.S President George W. Bush gave a press conference to defend his dismal record in office. With disasters in Iraq, the global financial markets, an ongoing war in Gaza, and a successor who won largely because his nation consider his presidency a failure; you would think that Bush would be a little apologetic.
No chance! In his final news conference, Bush heartily defended his record. I have no problem with Bush wanting to defend his record; I mean you don’t really expect him to say that he has failed after eight years in the White House, right? But just as he has his say, I will have mine. And I’ll say that his record as president is bad, especially in 2 areas.
First, Bush inherited a record budget from Bill Clinton and will leave behind a record budget black hole to his successor. Now Bush might say that the 2001 recession, which began 2 months into his presidency, has nothing to do with him but all the verbal spin can’t take away the credit for the global financial crisis. Barack Obama is going to inherit a budget that is down close to, if not more than, 1 trillion dollars. Things are so bad that even the huge government bailout of Wall Street financial firms hasn’t really help all that much to calm the markets.
Second, Bush will leave behind 2 ongoing wars for his successor. Both the Iraq and Afghan wars have hurt America more than they have helped; the Iraqi war was and still is extremely bad for America’s image. Failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the abuses committed by the U.S. military at the Abu Ghraib detention center, and the speech under the "Mission Accomplished" banner, all came out of the war in Iraq.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think Bush meant well but he strikes me as a guy who holds a post that is perhaps too high for his ability. Will Barack Obama do any better? With his short CV, I’m not holding my breath.