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Bush to Give Farewell Address

Updated 6:56 p.m.
By Dan Eggen
President Bush will deliver a farewell address to the nation Thursday evening from the East Room of the White House, marking his last public appearance before Inauguration Day, officials announced today.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush will be "continuing a ritual that dates back to George Washington" in delivering the farewell speech. The president plans to give the tradition a twist and deliver his remarks in front of a live audience of "courageous people" that Bush has met during his time in office, she said.

"He will reflect on his time in office and the ways our country has changed these past eight years," Perino said in a statement. "He will also uphold the tradition of presidents using farewell addresses to look forward -- by sharing his thoughts on greatest challenges facing the country, and on what it will take to meet them."

The White House said it has asked the television networks to dedicate broadcast time for the address, but has not yet received answers. Bush will give the speech at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The announcement of a farewell message comes on the same day that Bush held his last scheduled press conference, where he vigorously defended his tumultuous tenure while conceding to a handful of mistakes. During Thursday's address, Perino said, Bush will "defend his record" but will not be "looking to refight old battles."

"This is not going to be a swan song," Perino said.

The 15-minute address is expected to be Bush's last public event before President-elect Barack Obama arrives at the North Portico of the White House on Jan. 20 prior to the presidential inauguration. On Tuesday, Bush is also scheduled to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to three old friends: former British prime minister Tony Blair, former Australian prime minister John Howard and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Farewell addresses have taken various forms over the past two centuries, including written messages printed in newspapers by early presidents, the White House said. Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both delivered White House speeches, while Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter delivered final "State of the Union" addresses on Capitol Hill. One notable exception was Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, who opted against a goodbye message before turning over the White House to Clinton in 1992.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 12, 2009; 5:19 PM ET
Categories:  43  
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Next: U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Asked to Stay on Past Inauguration


NBC and ABC will both pre-empt their schedule tomorrow evening for Bush's Farewell Address.

Posted by: JakeD | January 13, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

18. Tax cuts.
19. Ended U.S. involvement in the International Criminal Court.
20. Led the most extensive reorganization the Federal bureaucracy in over 50 years: After 9/11, condensed 20+ overlapping agencies and their intelligence sectors into one agency, the Department of Homeland Security.

Posted by: JakeD | January 13, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

17. Executive Orders reversing Clinton's policy of not requiring parental consent for abortions under the Medical Privacy Act, prohibiting federal funds for international family planning groups that provide abortions and related services, and upholding the ban on abortions at military hospitals (these are going to be rescinded by pResident Evil Obama). GWB also made millions available for abstinence education programs.

Posted by: JakeD | January 13, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

16. As of September 30, 2008, nearly 9.7 million people affected by HIV/AIDS in PEPFAR's 15 focus countries had received compassionate care, including nearly 4 million orphans and vulnerable children. It is safe to say that as of December 1, 2008, the U.S. also has met the goal of supporting care for 10 million people affected by HIV in the focus countries. Globally, the U.S. is supporting care for over 10.1 million, including over 4 million children. In addition, nearly 240,000 babies have been born free of HIV, due to the support of the American people for programs to prevent mothers from passing the virus on to their children.

Posted by: JakeD | January 13, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse


If you COULD care less, that means you actually care some right now. The proper phrase is "I couldn't care less ...". Maybe JohnQuimby can explain it for you in smaller words.

Posted by: JakeD | January 13, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget the new George W. Bush Presidential Library. Just off I-10 In the Heavily Fortified Green Zone, right next to Hooters.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | January 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I can see it now, millions of people around the world will flock to Bush's new neighborhood in Dallas like a pilgrimage to Graceland to throw their shoes at the gates of his heavily fortified compound.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 13, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse


You "could" care less?! Probably just a Freudian slip / admission that you DO care about George W. Bush. How precious!

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 7:34 PM"
First I said "I could care less what he has to say" and second, you're the one that is the butt-sniffing Bush sycophant on this forum.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 13, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

My Commemorative Remarks on the Occasion of the End of the Bush Presidency

By John Quimby

It wasn't easy. It was hard work.
Yes, through hard work and solid determination, George Bush has forever lowered the requirements and claimed the title of, "Worst President of All Time".

Quite an achievement for a wealthy man who was sort of from West Texas. A man who learned early on that he didn't actually have to work for a living.

But now, the public hushes, and we speak in reverent tones as the man himself lowers himself even further to take a final bow when surely none are needed.

I know that the Detroit Lions are glad this day that no one can ever take away their title by losing more football games in a single season. And who can predict another epic failure like New Coke or Windows Vista?

But the sad truth for Mr. Bush is that one day, somehow, we will have a president who is an even bigger loser than he is.

It won't be hard to find that person, because I know that someone out there has the grit, fortitude and American determination to take the Presidency to a new level of arrogance, blind ambition and stupidity.

And so tonight, in the dim awareness of a blindly led Republic, former Hall of Fame greats like James Buchanon and Warren G. Harding shine a little less brightly in the Presidential pantheon of losers.

For tonight they await the arrival of their new champion.

I'll watch the prime time event. I just hope I don't cry.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | January 13, 2009 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Back on topic, Katie Couric just announced that CBS will carry the primetime speech.

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like JakeD has a man-crush on Bush. Yuck. Love makes us blind, JakeD.

When a man loves a Bush
Can't keep his mind on nothing else
He'll trade the world
For the good thing he's found
If Bush's bad he can't see it
Bush can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put Bush down

When a man loves a Bush
Spend his very last dime
Tryin' to hold on to what he needs
He'd give up all his comfort
Sleep out in the rain
If Bush said that's the way it ought to be

When a man loves a Bush
Down deep in his soul
Bush can bring him such misery
If Bush plays him for a fool
He's the last one to know
Lovin' eyes can't ever see

Posted by: nodebris | January 12, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse


You "could" care less?! Probably just a Freudian slip / admission that you DO care about George W. Bush. How precious!

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance, what a nightmare. I could care less what he has to say.
Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Thanks for all the destruction!

Posted by: JRM2 | January 12, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives, and William Howard Taft became Chief Justice, after being President. Good idea, kase. Do you live in Texas?

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse


You mean come back to Washington as a Congressman or Supreme Court Justice?

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

My fervent hope is that this pig has a short retirement...

Posted by: kase | January 12, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse


He could spend more than one minute on each of these.

1. Kyoto treaty.
2. Keeping us safe from terrorist attacks on U.S. Soil since 2001.
3. Balancing Civil Liberties vs. National Security.
4. Supporting Israel and democracy in the Middle East.
5. No Child Left Behind.
6. The Bush Doctrine(s)?
7. Medicare prescription drug program.
8. Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court.
9. Strengthened ties with allies, and bringing new countries on board.
10. Iraqi Surge.
11. Reinstituting Mexico City policy.
12. Prevented federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research.
13. Did not get impeached.
14. Did not (as far as we know) commit adultery in the Oval Office.
15. Partial-Birth Abortion ban.

I said I could keep going ...

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Buh-Bye Baby Bush. Took 3 seconds. Thank you very much.

Good news is that Jeb Bush isn't running for Florida Senate.
Daddy 41 was/is grooming Jeb.

Please America, do not vote another Bush in office.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 12, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less about the Networks. I hope they all have to file for BK.

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

How long does he need?
There's really nothing to say

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 12, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

"The White House said it has asked the television networks to dedicate broadcast time for the address, but has not yet received answers."

Oh, for goodness' sake. This deserves coverage and I hope the networks supply the requested 15 minutes (how much less could it be?) tout suite.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | January 12, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I have set my Tivo.

Posted by: JakeD | January 12, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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