The week of non-stop George W. Bush interviews as he promotes his newly released book, "Decision Points" certainly does much to rehabilitate his image with those who were less than kind to him as he was President of the United States.
I have heard more than one talking head on television say it's too bad he couldn't put across his relaxed demeanor - taking himself lightly - more often as President. But, he was called upon to be a war president, no one more surprised than himself. He rose to the occasion and this citizen is forever grateful.
As Kinky Friedman writes Bush remains graceful even in the midst of constant criticism:
Legacies, at best, are studies in contrasts. History does not always get it right, but sometimes it does. Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln, and Winston Churchill were cursed and reviled, called "traitor," "ape," "cowboy"; they are seen today as visionaries and portraits of greatness. There is no question that George W. Bush is a man with a spirit of generosity which extends even to his enemies, who snipe at him constantly and blame him for everything under the sun. He is also a man with the God-given ability to laugh at himself. So what if, praise Allah, Iraq keeps turning toward the good and becomes the second true democracy in the entire Middle East? Was it all worth it? Men and women of future generations may well say yes.
Too bad the "spirit of generosity" is not extended by President Obama to his critics. But, there is a big gulf between the visions and philosophies of Bush and Obama, not to mention the difference in personality and character.
You may remember the incredibly ridiculous magazine covers and articles written comparing Obama to the modern day FDR, or Lincoln. Obama really enjoys the Lincoln comparison - announcing his intention to run for President on the step at Springfield or conjuring him up in speech references. To those of us not besotted with the Obama candidacy, it was laughable yet just simply sad. Most of all proof that journalism is dead in this country. No in-depth background checks with accompanying stories for Obama. No gossip writers renting homes next to his to spy on his family and private home life. No concern about past associations with domestic terrorists or questioning why his college papers and records were under seal. No demands for his medical records. Nope. Just a whole lotta swooning and slobbering over America's first bi-racial president.
The humility factor is prominent within George W. Bush yet completely lacking in Barack Obama. Bush served his country out of a strong sense of duty and Obama serves out of the feeling of entitlement to the office. Yes, both men have big egos, a necessity for elected office yet the two men come off differently to the American public.
This is an often referred example of the over the top arrogance of Barack Obama in a speech as he defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries:
I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.
If that kind of arrogance and vanity doesn't make the listener simply cringe, something is very wrong. This is a man who criticizes the perceived arrogance of America yet doesn't seem to notice it within himself.
The stark contrast between the two men makes a person shake her head.