The good press has begun for former President George W. Bush. Despite eight years of nothing but hate from the left and then from the right, too, Bush is out of the political limelight and leading a somewhat normal life. He and former First Lady Laura Bush are settling into their new home in Dallas and he is telling the tale that he is just a regular neighbor, picking up the poo of his dogs on their walks.
Last week he and another former President Clinton appeared together in Canada, sharing a stage and having a "conversation", complete with moderator. The moderator was former envoy to the U.S., Frank McKenna. Tickets were sold and both received polite applause and the large number of expected protesters outside did not appear. Originally thought to number 15,000, the protesters numbered only barely 200. The audience of 6,000 were not privy to a heated debate either. Both men were reported to be very respectful and defended each other's tenure in office.
Unlike President Obama, who to this day cannot make a speech without blaming or criticizing the Bush administration, President Bush said he will not criticize Obama - he said there are enough critics in America. We all miss the Bush family class in Washington. It is sorely needed.
Also last week, Laura and George W. Bush came to Houston and received the 2009 Leadership Award from the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. Little reported, Bush was praised for creating the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The program is credited with saving more than 1.1 million lives and reducing AIDS-related deaths by more than 10 percent across sub-Saharan Africa. Laura Bush was honored for her role as an advocate for mothers and children with HIV/AIDS and for her five trips to Africa.
Guests representing each of the countries which have the program were present.
Clinton praised Bush's AIDS initiatives and the racial and ethnic diversity of his Cabinet.