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Bush Has Some Advice for Obama

By Dan Eggen
President Bush dispensed a few words of advice to his successor today, urging President-elect Barack Obama to foster robust debate inside the White House and to keep on top of "the bureaucracy" to make sure policies are implemented.

"Creating tension is good for decision-making, so long as it doesn't become destructive," Bush said during a question-and-answer session at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. "...I also like the idea of people being able to walk into the Oval office and [say], 'Have you thought of this?' Or, 'The debate is headed this way, I'd like you to consider this.'"

Although Bush has been criticized for allegedly relying on a small group of like-minded advisers, he characterized himself as encouraging an open-door policy in the Oval Office. He also appeared to suggest that career federal employees had undermined some of his policies -- though he didn't provide specifics.

"Make sure information gets into the Oval Office on a timely basis so that when you find bureaucracies delaying policy, then you do something about it," Bush said when asked for his advice to future presidents. "The best bureaucratic move, if people disagree with policy, is just to delay and hope the president isn't paying attention."

Bush also vowed to maintain a low profile once he leaves the White House on Jan. 20. "We're not going to tell President-elect Obama how to run his administration, nor will I spend a lot of time second-guessing him," Bush said. "I believe once the president gets off the stage, you get off the stage and let the next man do the job."

Bush has made a point of pushing for a smooth transition of power between his administration and the next, and experts from both parties seem to agree that the process has gone remarkably well. The White House announced this week that Bush will host a lunch with Obama and the three living U.S. presidents -- including Bush's father -- next month.

In a separate interview with CNN today, Bush suggested -- perhaps with a hint of envy -- that Obama may be in a position to push a broad agenda given Democratic control of Washington. "Maybe he won't have to deal with quite as contentious issues as I did, or maybe he will, who knows," Bush said. "He came in with a strong vote and he's got good majorities in the House and Senate, and maybe he'll get some things done."

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 18, 2008; 6:17 PM ET
Categories:  43  
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Posted by: catsmom | December 21, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

This article is parody, right? The next Saturday night live skit. Right?

Posted by: jcgrim | December 21, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Bush advise is to pay attention to your job. Good advice which if followed will represent a change from his predecessor.

Posted by: Gator-ron | December 19, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

The American System has allowed a lot of Checks and Balances to prevent abuses of power, these have failed to stop the economic downturn because the President has the last say. The BUCKS stop at his desk.

No president should not have any fear that anyone can block any program which will be good for the majority unless his choices for the key Cabinet posts are "bad". They are the President Men, they are the ones to deliver good or bad.

With Dick Cheney connections, Bush has to go to the Iraq War without a proper post-war agenda.... It is difficult to win any war without a comprehensive program for the post action scenarios and contingencies. We hope that Obama will learn from Bush's mistakes rather than the advice on Bureaucracies.

Maybe America is in for farther reforms to ensure theft on Wall Street as well as Main Street is considered as GRAND HIGH ROBBERY with death penalty as the prize? order to protect the poor on Main Street.

Posted by: siburp | December 19, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

If Scumbag Bush has anything to say, you know damned well it is A) Totally worthless; B) Completely wrong; C) A lie; D) Ass backwards; E) Related to his Delusions; and NO ONE wants to hear it !
That guy's head is so far up his anal cavity he hasn't seen daylight since he was just a little puppy. His mother, I am sure, even being married to George I, is shamed by his idle destruction of the U.S.
If she had only had the sense to get an abortion when she learned that the foetus was defective........

Posted by: donald_mcmunn | December 19, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

LOL! :-D


""The best bureaucratic move, if people disagree with policy, is just to delay and hope the president isn't paying attention.""

I have to wonder how having Pelosi and Reid commence 600 Congressional Oversight Reviews, in their first Hundred Days, or Tom Daschole's blocks of Hundreds of Judicial Posts during the First two years affected our Executive from doing anything "Constructive"?

Bushie Approval: @33%

Congress' Approval: 11%

Now, Congress has the Executive Branch?!!! :-/

Jesus WEPT!

Posted by: SAINT---The | December 19, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, as Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine) said on the tonight show, "If it wasn't for George Bush, there wouldn't be no Barack Obama (as president)."

Posted by: biggerjake | December 19, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like good advice to me. Too bad Bush didn't think of this when he was in there. I am pretty sure I can name names of some of those Washington insiders who undermined everything he ever said. I didn't like a whole lot of what Bush did but I also don't think he did it all on his own. Maybe he listened a little too much because he didn't have the ability to think through problems as easily as some former presidents have. For that reason alone-- his seemingly diminished mental capacity compared to some of the people around him-- I have some degree of sympathy for him. It made him an easy target for some unsavory people. I think Obama will definitely follow that practice. He has already demonstrated a penchant for doing just that.

Lots of people tend to be swayed by what other people think. It can be a blessing or a curse according to one's inherent ability to sort out the facts and use them to make good decisions instead of being lazy enough to let others think for them.

That being said, I believe the reason Obama is president-elect is because too many American voters let someone think for them.

Posted by: SeahorseFive | December 19, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

No one with a sound mind would seek advice from a President that no only has destroyed his country's economy, and replaced it with trillions of dollars of debt,and is also responsible for the recession that we are in! The Free Market principles that he has defended for the last 8 years, has also ruined the economies of more than 100 other countries, and left more than $562 trillion dollars of debt in it's place.

Posted by: goldenoldie | December 19, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

This president is certifiably delusional. One of his recommendations is that the new president, 'keep on top of "the bureaucracy" to make sure policies are implemented.' If nothing else, the Bush bureaucracy not only implemented his policies, but went overboard as they created extra legal loopholes for his bad policies regarding terrorism, illegal spying, the elimination of Habeas Corpus, and the firing of US attorneys. These bureaucrats were quite diligent in implementing the Bush agenda. What the bureaucrats failed to do on his behalf the Republican congress rolled over for him and closed a blind eye to his shenanigans as they stole as much as they could as they left the country broke and bankrupt for years to come. Bus needs to save the advice and just get out of town.

Posted by: Firststater | December 19, 2008 4:30 AM | Report abuse

That's the ticket - blame the bureaucrats!

Probably a good idea to keep a low profile. Who is going to want to listen to more bad ideas after 8 long years!

I wonder whether his loyal staff are able to get jobs after this.

Posted by: LCL1 | December 18, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

So Bush and Cheney "fostered" debate in the White House? So they could do what? Squash it with glee?

Posted by: parkerfl1 | December 18, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Bush had an open door?

Maybe to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Addington, and Gonzales...

Posted by: MaxLF | December 18, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

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