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Republicans weigh the political implications of the Bush legacy

Former President George W. Bush. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

The (un)official kickoff of the 2012 Republican presidential primary fight over the past week has brought one major issue in the campaign to come to the fore: what to do about former President George W. Bush?

The two candidates running the most aggressively (and obviously) for the presidential nod -- former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota -- had very different answers to that question in comments made over the past week.

Romney, at his speech to CPAC last Thursday, made clear that he would embrace -- or at least not run from -- the Bush legacy.

Said Romney:

"I am convinced that history will judge President Bush far more kindly--he pulled us from a deepening recession following the attack of 9-11, he overcame teachers unions to test school children and evaluate schools, he took down the Taliban, waged a war against the jihadists and was not afraid to call it what it is -- a war, and he kept us safe."

Pawlenty, on the other hand, offered a stinging rebuke of the prior Administration -- and his party in Congress -- in a recent interview with Esquire magazine.

Although Pawlenty didn't call out Bush by name, he did say things like "we got fired for a reason" and that the party "blew it" when they had their chance to govern.

The differing approaches adopted by Romney and Pawlenty speak to the uncertain strategic approach within the party about how to handle the Bush years.

The differing approaches to Bush are actually being road-tested in Republican primaries around the country in 2010, according to one senior party consultant, who described the debate going on within the party as a "big issue".

"Lots of long time Republicans still like the guy even though they admit things didn't go so well," explained the source. "But some think you are being disingenuous and inauthentic if you don't specifically call him out by name."

There are strong arguments to be made in support of each strategy.

Embracing Bush would seem -- on its face -- to make sense as, although he remains unpopular in the country at large, he is still well-regarded among the Republican base, the segment of the party that tends to decide the identity of its presidential nominee every four years.

In a January 2009 Washington Post/ABC poll, nearly seven in ten (68 percent) self identified Republicans approved of the job Bush had done while nearly eight in ten (78 percent) had a favorable opinion of him.

And, if history is any guide, public opinion about the former President will continue to brighten the further he recedes from office. That softening is already happening as a CNN poll conducted late last month showed 43 percent of the public viewing Bush in a favorable light while 54 percent regarded him unfavorably. While not stellar, those numbers are a far cry from the dismal 34 percent favorable/62 percent unfavorable score Bush received in CNN polling at the end of July.

A less obvious but perhaps no less important benefit of embracing Bush is that it could endear the cadre of political operatives still loyal to the former president to a candidate willing to stick his (or her) neck out for the former chief executive.

There is significant wisdom collected in that operative and consultant class, experience that any of the people running for president would like to tap over the next two years. At a minimum, a demonstrated willingness not to throw Bush under the proverbial bus would keep those strategists types from delivering the sort of background -- or even on-the-record -- quotes that can slow a candidate's momentum among activists and donors in the long run-up to the 2012 vote.

On the other hand, making clear that you will not be running for a third Bush term can also be defended as smart politics. Even Republicans who express their admiration for Bush -- and his policies -- believe that running on his legacy is not a winning strategy.

One needs only look back to the 2008 Republican presidential primary fight to see evidence of a significant wariness about associating with Bush; every candidate in the field made regular reference to their ideological and policy similarities to the late Ronald Reagan while almost entirely ignoring the man who at the time was occupying the White House.

The desire for a fresh face -- after years of people named Bush dominating the Republican party -- is also palpable, particularly following the election of Barack Obama in 2008 on a message that the old hands in Washington (of both parties) had failed and it was time to try something and someone new.

Not to mention that a strong embrace -- whether literal or figurative -- of Bush in the primary could well hamstring the eventual GOP nominee, leaving him (or her) open to an attack that they want to take the country backward rather than move it forward.

The 2010 midterms will almost certainly be the proving ground in the debate over how much or little to say about Bush and how to say it. Watch to see how candidates in contested primaries -- Florida Senate and New Hampshire Senate to name two -- deal with the legacy of the former president. How it works -- or doesn't -- will tell us much about how Bush will play in the 2012 Republican presidential primary fight.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 22, 2010; 11:55 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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What is there to weigh??? Regan came in with a deficit and left with a larger deficit. Bush came in with no wars; started one began by his father and left with three! Clinton left a surplus of 1 trillion+ and Bush left with three times that plus continued daily spending on his wars. Conservatives were in power for 20 of the past 28 years and poverty was and still at it's all time high. People wake up; morals & values in their aspects played out a long time ago; the rich get richer and the conservatives within the government are the richer of the two parties! Give Obama your support and stop being as the Right says "Communists"!!!

Posted by: blackmale1 | February 25, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I admit to being a Democrat. I am also a retired high school Government teacher. But when a politician like Mitt Romney brags about "busting" the teachers unions, he indicates his distain for the backbone of this country. . .working men and women. Unions have had their share of abusive behavior among the leaderships, but overall, we would still have sweat shops and few worker rights without unions. And here's a thought for Romney: Should the working people of the country support an anti-union candidate for President after observing the excessively-high salaries and stock options of CEO's of large oligopolistic industries--insurance companies,mortgage banks, etc. Do top-level managers today care at all for their workers? I think not. We can thank unions in the past for keeping the heat on management. It is a balance-of-power situation that people like Mitt Romney hate.

Posted by: bayanjim | February 23, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Bush was the worst POTUS in US history by far....Greatest dept, total mismanagement, tax cuts to the rich while the US is involved in two unfunded wars. Every bit of legistlation in his last 4 years unfunded, sponsored Torture against all World Conventions, He did nothing to force China to comply with the WTO regs that resulted in millions of jobs, tooling and technology leaving the US. He offended nearly every civilized country... the worst by far.

Posted by: Americacares | February 23, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Bush II was not the worst overall president or worse in either his domestic or foreign policies, but in each of these categories he is in the bottom ten. Any Republican candidate who speaks approvingly of his legacy as president is politically a fool and is reflecting a mostly reactionary agenda which most people in this country thankfully repudiate.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 23, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Reports of the demise of the Republican Party are greatly exaggerated, but so are allegations of great distinctions between Republican and Democrat politicians. Usually... USUALLY... there isn't a dime's worth of difference in how they act in office, despite their pretenses and their rhetoric.

Bush was an exception, a politician that really DID make a difference. He screwed things up so badly that we will never climb out from under all the negative consequences of his tenure, at home and abroad.

This couldn't be merely a question of Bush's own style or temperment. The Neocon ideological horse he rode into office, and which rode him thereafter, contributed mightily to the problem.

Whatever the short-term political benefits of saddling up this same horse again, the long-term price will be high. A candidate who thinks it will bring him victory will always pay it, but the country shouldn't.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | February 23, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we need new ideas. We need to embrace the old ideas that worked. The progressives have had a grip on this nation for a long time. When I was young my father told me, "this can't last, you can't spend your way out of debt. Just hope it lasts until you're dead" Well I'm 56 years old and it almost has. But I will not be as fatalisitic as my father. The involvement of the grass roots of this nation gives me hope that we can reverse the collective, socialist policies that have been in place for so long. We must stop this healthcare power grab by the progessives now. The mystics who believe "I want it so its there" vs the trader "Its there so I want it" Only the trader creates goods, services and wealth. The mystic wishes it so, so he takes it from the trader. Simple. The mystics must go.

Posted by: NeilT1 | February 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party needs some new ideas maybe some new and uncorrupted candidates to run for office. The definition of insanity is to keep doing over and over that which doesn't work. If the GOP decides to embrace the Bush policies well...

Posted by: OhMy | February 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Is dick dead YET? Let me know when the party starts.

Dick you killed your party, in November when the GOP is wiped off the face of politics everyone will blame dick.

I hope dick is in pain. Die slowly and painfully!

Posted by: 1-20-09 | February 23, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

The country was doing great until the democrats were voted in the last 2 years.
It was Barney and Dodd who destroyed the banking system. Clinton had as much to do with the economy and the deficit as my dog. It was the republicans in 94 who forced all the changes. I wonder what the muslim would do if a 911 happened on his watch. He would probably surrender.

Posted by: shammy00 | February 23, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The country was doing great until the democrats were voted in the last 2 years.
It was Barney and Dodd who destroyed the banking system. Clinton had as much to do with the economy and the deficit as my dog. It was the republicans in 94 who forced all the changes. I wonder what the muslim would do if a 911 happened on his watch. He would probably surrender.

Posted by: shammy00 | February 23, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Romney praising Bush proves he will say just about anything to endear himself to the crowd. Rosy lies about the past are a political staple, but usually you make them about events a little more distant. Romney should stick to rosy lies about Reagan.

"Sleazy doofuses" is a great phrase, but it hardly reflects the incredible damage Republican leadership did to our country under the Bush administration.The sleazy doofuses were what the GOP chose to lead us.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 23, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what strategy Tim Pawlenty is planning -- maybe winning the nomination the way John McCain did, then losing in the general election?

George W Bush was not the most eloquent of presidents, but he did pretty well considering 1) the nature of the opposition party, and 2) the House Republicans were led by a bunch of sleazy doofuses.

But now that we've seen the way the Democrats lead, Bush looks a lot better and even Hastert and Delay do not look quite so disgusting.

If Pawlenty thinks his party "was fired for a reason", then where is the Democrat who will criticize his own party today? Or will he wait until after November 2010 to speak the truth?

Posted by: JBaustian | February 23, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

hypocracy seems to be the bread shared by all of washington, we do not have to fear becoming a socialist state, but we should be fearful of becoming a corporate state, of the business by the business for the business. the wealth and power of the country is being consolidated and before we know it elections will be for show and our politicians will be preapproved and prepurchased.

Posted by: carhodesr | February 23, 2010 1:29 AM | Report abuse

didn't W invite mullah omar to crawford? didn't W give the Taliban $40 million in aid? curious way to defeat an enemy, of course they weren't enemies then they were fellow oil men.

Posted by: carhodesr | February 23, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

didn't W invite mullah omar to crawford? didn't W give the Taliban $40 million in aid? curious way to defeat an enemy, of course they weren't enemies then they were fellow oil men.

Posted by: carhodesr | February 23, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I'm glad to hear that the "Taliban were defeated by Bush" my son really won't have to leave shortly for his 4th tour to fight them??!! Wow!!! Maybe we should make the military aware of this... Mitt, please go back to the center politically--we LDS out here in the real world (outside of Utah) really don't like liars and suck-ups. And no, everything bad that has ever happened to our nation was not done by Carter, Clinton, and Republicans need to tell the American people exactly what it is you want for America--because so far(from facts and actions of republicans), you guys destroying it is not an option for most sane folks out here! And that's why I'll never vote republican again.

Posted by: Sharon_6441 | February 22, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Do Americans realize the consequence

of maintaining two, do nothing political

parties in which neither the Democrats,

nor the Republicans have any idea of what

is good for this country, and therefore

they spend their time bickering like

young children, instead of acting like

adults in prosecuting partisianship in

American politics. A former politician

many years ago, uttered these famous

words of wisdom: "A House Divided, Cannot

Stand." American politicians at all levels

of Government, have not grasped the

meaning of these simple words. They have

forgotten the indelible words of our 35th

President, John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what

your country can do for you, ask what you

can do for your country." Patriotism

and Nationalism no longer grips this

country in its quest for glory, rather,

greed and dishonesty have taken their


Posted by: dennishabern1 | February 22, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The more I read.........

I just see "liberals" writing what the maid stream media wrote.

Think for yourselves and check your history.

You know that we can do the same.

Have a great day...and make your history.


Posted by: paulann1 | February 22, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

The more I read.........

I just see "liberals" writing what the maid stream media wrote.

Think for yourselves and check your history.

You know that we can do the same.

Have a great day...and make your history.


Posted by: paulann1 | February 22, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I think I would have to go with Rumney on this one..

I am an independent ...teabagger.

As I look back of the last two years...I can recall so much Obama has said and now he is saying and doing a lot different.

So.....I read a while back something an author who had just released a new book said....quoting Bush "wait until Obama sits his butt in this chair, it is easy to talk" ......

Bush made mistakes ......Obama is making mistakes.....

I guess we can write a lot of trash...we have never made any.


Posted by: paulann1 | February 22, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Bush Legacies = Obama's current policies!

Posted by: Patriot12 | February 22, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

All Republican candidates must stay away from these two words: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Posted by: dlbucs | February 22, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I think the phrase "implications of the Bush legacy" pretty much says it all.

Posted by: blarsen1 | February 22, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mitt, on the 12th of April, 1968, I left the toes on my right foot along Highway 9, Republic of South Vietnam. In the meanwhile, Mitt, you went off to France with your new wife on your religious mission. I'll bet you had a swell time? I believe you had as many deferments as ol' Dickey boy? And then, forty some odd years later, I read that you supported continuing the war until either we ran out of troops or Vietnamese, whichever came first. But you did it from France.

Well you know what, Mitt? You can attempt revisionist history all you want and put a positive spin on ol' GWB time in the White House wrecking our country, but you know what, Mitt? I'll vote for you when I grow my toes back!!!!! Until then, you need to STHU

Posted by: Vercengetorix | February 22, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Try to shape the bush legacy...
Go in your back yard grab a handful of dog crap and shape into a bust of G.W. Bush and you just shaped his legacy. CRAP!

Posted by: 1-20-09 | February 22, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
22 February 2010

Those who still don't know what George W. Bush's legacy is probably resided during the last eight years or so somewhere in Timbuktu.

Then they should be told that the housing meltdown of 2008 (the last year of W's eight-year reign) which led to the financial crisis which in turn morphed into the Great Recession of 2008, and which President Obama and his Democratic administration are now trying desperately to fix, is W's legacy in the domestic arena.

In the international arena, W's legacy is, first, Iraq which he invaded and occupied preemptively and unilaterally--and thus illegally--on false pretenses. His other legacy is the "war against terror"--the war against Osama bin-Laden, the al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists--which has lasted more than all the past wars the United States has engaged in because George W. made the fatal mistake of diverting U.S. forces prematurely from Afghanistan to wage war in Iraq.

Finally, his third historic legacy is an America that had come very close to bankruptcy when he stepped down as President.. When he took over from Bill Clinton, the U.S. budget was pretty much in balance, the U.S. Treasury had surpluses in the hundreds of billions, and the National Debt was only around $5 trillion.

These are objective facts; these are factually George W. Bush's legacy. He will thus go down in history as one of the worst presidents the United States has ever had in all of its 233 years of existence.

Mariano Patalinjug

Posted by: MPatalinjug | February 22, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

It's probably politically astute of Chameleon Mitt to cop a positive stance toward our worst president of the last hundred years. If the wingnuts believed that ACORN was organizing little green men on Mars (and perhaps some of them do, I don't know), you can bet Mitt would be right there talking about the need to rein in the "Martian voter registration problem". Whatever it takes.

Meanwhile, it can only be good for the Dems in 2012 to be collecting as many favorable-to-Bush sound bites from these clowns. America has a short memory, but it ain't that short.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 22, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Obama built an entire narrative about Bush the Constitution Shredder who presided over Guantanamo and renditions. There was no place in his promised new politics for lobbyists and Chicago tactics. After a single year of governance, there is now scarcely a single issue that Obama & Co. have not backtracked on, flip-flopped, redefined, or quietly dropped — mostly matters that were once demagogued to score political points. At some point — I think it was around mid-January — the public collectively shrugged and concluded of Obama, “I don’t trust anything that this guy says.” And when that happens in American politics, it is almost impossible to restore any modicum of credibility. All we are left with now is three more years of the president’s “Bush did it” mantra and a buffoonish Robert Gibbs, like some strutting carnival barker, showing off ink on his palm to a bored press corps.

Posted by: leapin | February 22, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Both the democrats and the republicans have waited for the other guy to screw up so they can benefit at the polls. It's beginning to take the pleasure out of the spite vote.

Posted by: redd1 | February 22, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Are people blind and stupid? Bush took a Country that was in pretty great shape in 2000 and distroyed it in eight years! He started wars, gave tax cuts to the rich, tortured people, wire tapped u.s. citizens and spent money like there was no tomorrow etc, etc! This country and its citizens are lucky that everything was not distroyed completely. If the Republicans get back into control they will certainly complete the job that Bush was try to do. Keep these yoyos out of office in 2010 -2012.

Posted by: lunetrick | February 22, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

As an Independent voter adamantly opposed to the Democrats agenda of anti American socialism, wasteful, fraudulent and abusive over taxing, pro open borders, pro citizen rights for terrorists and illegals, and over spending policies, if the Republicans dare bring back any of Bush's liberal legacies (NAU, the Amero, open borders, amnesty, Big Government DHS and Big spending), then I'm voting for the Tea Party or anyone else.

Sadly, with the Dems left in charge, that will be the end of the USA.

Pay attention Republicans - don't commit political suicide by disenfranchising supportive voters with failed Bush agendas, many of which are still followed by the current Adminsitration.

No more electing the least of two evils!

Posted by: Patriot12 | February 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Like all GOPers, Romney is a FOOL.

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | February 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The GOP under Bush: Yes, yes, yes!

The GOP under Obama: No, no, no!

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | February 22, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Is that the best the Repubs can come up with? Failin-Pailin, Revolving-Romney, Pathetic-Pawlenty? Well, I'm happy. I don't see any challengers from the GOP, on the horizon.


Now, if only the Demos would grow a pair and start getting something done in congress.

Posted by: koatz1 | February 22, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

That these republican sociopaths even bring up the Bush word is suicidal...go for it...

Posted by: seakeys | February 22, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

This is simple: the GOP never apologizes, and never admits error. To do so makes you weak in their minds. Witness McCain. The only thing you can apologize for is not being conservative enough. In the mind of their base, they should have tortured MORE, invaded MORE and cut taxes MORE.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 22, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Shrub produced the most radical, immoral, and unethical administration in history. And just 1 year into his successors administration, we hear how poorly Obama's is doing. It took Shrub 8 years to destroy the economy. Eliminate a budget surplus. Double the national debt, while keeping the costs of 2 wars, 1 illegal, off the books. Alienate most of the world, and much of the U.S. Kill or maim thousands of Iraqi's, and several thousand American troops. Outed a CIA operative, and pardoned the traito who got caught for it.
And all the while they were in office, we heard if you spoke against the administration, you were disloyal and aiding the enemy. Now Crazy Cheney is doing just that. What a traitor.

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | February 22, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: skinfreak | February 22, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

They'll embrace the Bush legacy, just not the legacy we all remember. They'll embrace the legacy as remembered by Dana Perino and Rudy Guiliani, "There were no terrorist attacks while Bush was President."

Posted by: leftcoaster | February 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Bush defeated the taliban? The Taliban appears to be thriving, thanks to the fact he threw away initial progress in Afghanistan to follow the trail of lies into Iraq. The only thing bush defeated were American values. Torture, anyone?

Posted by: truthman3 | February 22, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

It's unwise of Romney to join Cheney's revisionist history of the Bush era - W deepened the recession in 03 that he created in 01, the Taliban is still with us, and there is no evidence No Child is worth preserving which is why its being dismantled. These facts can't be disputed.
Romney charted his own course as a conservative in 08, why not do it again when he is the obvious frontrunner in 2012? He doesn't need Bush failures, Cheney myths, or phony mavericks.
He also doesn't need to throw Bush under the bus -he just needs to stop talking about it.
Which, come to think of it, was also his problem in 08.

Posted by: joneshn | February 22, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

What an odious load of tripe. If Bush had any real success in 8 years, it was as the neo-con front man for plundering the treasury and furthering the bottomline of Halliburton/KBR and Blackwater. Yes, he helped the country out alright - We're all so much richer in experience we don't need our homes or our money anymore.

How stupid do you think we all are? At least some of us have the guts to stand up and call it like it is; he was an abysmal president and as big a failure in politics as he was in business. I'd call him a liability and be done with it.

Posted by: JenAZ | February 22, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Republicans supported Jr. Bush through his eight years of finagling, finessing, fiats, fatuity and follies.

They should do the honorable thing now, and embrace him with pride.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | February 22, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Next thing you know, Romney will be reading aloud from "The Pet Goat."

Posted by: HughBriss | February 22, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The GW Bush legacy is clear--A huge deficit, two wars (one unnecessary), massive tax cuts for the rich while he stomped the middle class (middle class jobs were stagnant those eight years), incompetent handling of Katrina, and such unconscionable lack of regulation that too-big-to-fail banks had to be bailed out to make it possible for their rich CEOs to continue to get their millions of dollars in bonuses.

The one thing he did do is work effectively on AIDs in Africa. Also, his initial handling of 9/11 brought hope. But then that deteriorated into water boarding, Abu Grad, torture, firing a host of justice department attorneys for political reasons, and a declining view of America around the world.

If I were the GOP, I'd try to get all of us to forget George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | February 22, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

It is possible to read too much into the distinction here -- some of what Pawlenty and Romney said was in part dependent upon who they were saying it to. No matter who the politician is, or what their true feelings on the subject may be, no politician is going to say things at a CPAC convention that they'd say in an Esquire Magazine article, and vice versa.

Same is true on the other side of the aisle -- a Dem is likely to throw a little more red meat at a Netroots or convention than they would in a broader based national publication.

Posted by: Axisofstupidity1 | February 22, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The Republican are testing More lies..

To see what they will get away with.

even if they cannot they will still repeat it.

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | February 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for an even-handed article that begins a re-examination of Bush without the ideological baggage. I think many Americans have become disillusioned with the current administration and are beginning to reassess Bush more quickly than similar reassessments of other former presidents.

While the liberal and MSM anger over Bush cannot be expected to abate much within that 20-25% voter demographic, the issue is really with the independents, who have already reassessed their vote for Obama in light of his performance to date, as reflected in the polls.


Posted by: gmonsen | February 22, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like you folks at the Post are trying your best to keep the focus off the doofus in the White House NOW. Which by the way will go down in flames no matter how hard you try to prevent it.

Posted by: steveiev | February 22, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

By Novemeber the GOP will be stating that there was never a GOP President named BUSH.

In fact the GOP will be trying to sell us the idea that it is still 2000 and the BUSH years never really happened.


Or maybe that IRAQ WMD's (or hypnosis) were actually launched on America and we were in semi-permanent comas

Posted by: kare1 | February 22, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Republican's are not fiscally conservative. The historical facts say NO FLIPPIN WAY! So we have many many millions of independants that are saying Balance the Budget or quit!!! We are looking for politicly minded cost accountants to run for office! We are tired of the self serving whacks in the Rep. and Dem. camps. They are both pathetic!!!

Posted by: RobMc1 | February 22, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The legacy of leaving a country without a leg to stand on...

Posted by: Wildthing1 | February 22, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Democrats were able to hang Herbert Hoover as a millstone around Republican's necks for nearly a half-century. Bush, by comparison, should serve Democrats well even into the 22nd century.

Posted by: slim2 | February 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Who would've thought that Bush's successor will end up redeeming his legacy. And who thought we'd have two jimmy carters in one life time. This would be a "irony" section of future history books.

Posted by: NoWeCant | February 22, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Nobody should be like Bush on foreign policies. That is why I think that the current SOS should be fast forced to resign. Obama's economic policies, unfortunately, are too similar, if not identical to Bush's, and that is why we are going to have this recession(or depression
) forever or similar.

Posted by: aepelbaum | February 22, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Chris, this is going to be a helluva choice the Repubs are going to have to make, and it makes me pause (and should anyone else) whenever I hear how Repubs are going to win back the House, Senate, and Presidency in the next 3 years, as the same problems still exist from the 2008 election that no one in the Republican Party has really addressed, in that if you do embrace Bush in order to better your chances in the primaries, you lose the general election as too far right: however if you distance yourself from his legacy in order to win the general, you can't get past the primaries. Whether it's Romney or T-Paw (Ron Paul, maybe?) or whoever, any Repub is going to have a lot of difficulty.

Posted by: PeterPamZ | February 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Mark my words that some psychologist is going to win a Nobel Prize in Medicine for accurately diagnosing the "Republican psychosis". It's quite a horrific disease and leads to dissociative disorders, uncontrolled rage, and inability to perform complex tasks.

It hasn't been two years since the disaster that was sonny boy Bush has passed and people are getting nostalgic about the doofus who put us on the path of ruin???? It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.

Posted by: theobserver4 | February 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I would be surprised if any campaign mercenary would allow loyalty to Bush (or anyone) to be a determing factor in any decision they made about who they worked for.

Heck, I would be surprised if one of Bush's cadre hadn't scribbled Pawlenty's words on a cocktail napkin for him.

Posted by: TheBoreaucrat | February 22, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

drivl wrote:
Throughout the health care debate, President Obama has insisted that Americans who liked their health insurance could keep it. “If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period,” he declared in a speech to the American Medical Association last June. “No one will take it away, no matter what.” While a number of provisions in the existing House and Senate health care bills would undermine that pledge, the proposal Obama unveiled today takes a sledgehammer to it.

another in the long line of lies.


Your ID should have been drivel, because this is a bunch of drivel. What in the proposal requires you to change your health insurance plan? The american public scares me with how easily the accept propoganda. The Republicans are trying to appeal to the selfishness that is inherent in a lot of people. The tea party people don't won't to pay taxes, but they want policeman, bridges, roads, military etc. SELFISHNESS you should be the mantle of the Republican Party.

Posted by: impartial1 | February 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Very much like the revision of Reagan's presidency, the revisionists are hard at work on the Dubya presidency. It's pathetic how many people do and will fall for it, as they did with the deification of Reagan who was a senile puppet for a cabal of bloody militarists and drug dealers. Dubya is a sociopath, not bright, not well spoken, who helped loot the treasury, murder over 1.3 million Iraqi's, was asleep on the job pre-911 (or in on it), and the list of his failures and ill deeds goes on and on.

If the GOP were smart and had any integrity they would honestly admit what a disaster Bush was and take responsibility for their compliance with his administration's illegal and destructive policies. Of course that will never happen.

Posted by: greeenmtns | February 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Running with George as an ally risks the power of the President to declassify material being used to drop rocks on a candidate's head every time he tries to tie himself to the Bush legacy. Obama can start by declassifying Cheney's oil patch secrets. Then declassifying Haliburton Contracts that were obviously negotiated prior to November, 2000. Things like that. Every time a republican gets close enough to George for the stench to transfer, declassify some more effluvia.

And even should THAT not be available, just the fact that any friend of George says let's go back to those good old days will have to explain how he would account for the total collapse of the banking system in 2008 and give evidence of just what he would do when it happens again.

Republicans obviously have very short and very convenient memories, but the rest of us know how to document our memories.

Then again, George and Dick getting indicted for making false official statements, especially about 9/11 and WMD's wouldn't particularly help a candidate seen holding hands in public with either of those two.

NEITHER has any obtained or inherent immunity from such prosecution.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, he is out. The purity committee voted him out and most of the rest of moderate or semi conservatives ( MCCain). They who strayed from the group think clause of the purity party. This group speaks of freedoms protected by Constitution but trying to go off message to even saying what is true or good about an opponent who has not taken the oath. That is one freedom they will not accord you. Well, folks if you vote for the uber right this is your future. The GOP did not finish the job the first 8 years. They want to come back now and finish us off for well and good. Be careful folks for what you pray.

Posted by: patisok | February 22, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Accomplishments: He lengthened daylight savings time. Other than that ...

Posted by: jjwmm | February 22, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Who could fault a president who presided over a physical attack on airline equipment and passengers, building occupants, and valuable real estate? Who could fault a president who lied his way into resuming a war that his father, it was claimed, prematurely ended? Who could fault a president who announced an end to major combat operations in Iraq just as major combat operations commenced? Who could fault a president who agreed to torture prisoners of war contrary to international law and various treaties and statutes? Who could fault a president who reduced taxes on the wealthy only to finance two wars off the books on the backs of future generations? Who could fault a president who hired evangelical Christians of an anti-government, anti-intellectual bent to high positions within regulatory authorities to ensure that large U.S. business entities would not be inconvenienced by government intrusion? And, who could fault a president whose fecklessness and ideology brought on an economic disaster that stemmed from too powerful financial services firm and acquiescence to multi-fold fraud in the mortgage origination and packaging industry? Let's tear down the Washington Monument and erect a monument to George W. Bush in its place. He earned it.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 22, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

This is a joke ? I am black person and all
the racism,police racism,abuse and beat down going on in this country relates to
this legacy. Look how the black people
in new orleans got done during katrina.

Then they wonder why a black person with
any good sense will not join the party.
During the years of him being in power.
Overall,black poor america was being beat down and oppress.
So if they be stupid and racist by attaching themselves to this racist legacy,they will be making a big mistake.
It will make race relations that much worse.

Posted by: peter_slaughter | February 22, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Make no mistake, Republicans love Bush and his legacy of debt and low taxes on the rich.

The so-called fabricated "Tea-Partiers" are the same 28% of the American people who hung with Bush's failed and incompetent admin until the end. That's the Republican "base" that everyone in the party is pandering to.

They have left a stinking mess and they want to say the smell is coming from Democratic "ambition"! Good luck. They don't just need Gingrich but someone like Albert Speer.

Posted by: walden1 | February 22, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The bush legacy IS the republicon legacy. they can no more run from it than a zebra can run away from it's stripes.

And make no mistake, bush will always be remembered as the worst president since buchannan sat on his hands and allowed the South to secede. Of course in hind sight that may have been a good decision....the full impact of the disasterous years of republicon rule are going to take some time to completely unfold. he legacy of Iraqnam will haunt us for generations.

Posted by: John1263 | February 22, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

For more than eight long years the Republicans and conservatives have defended George W. Bush. For more than eight long years they have been telling us what a great President he was and how good everything he did was. For more than eight long years they have called Democrats traitors for not supporting everything this man did. And now Republicans are going to criticize their hero? They're going to cast him and his policies aside? Sure they would like to forget about and distance themselves from this failure but that would be a lie. Oh yeah. That's the Republican way.

Posted by: Lefty_ | February 22, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Defeated the Taliban?

Bwhahahahahaha...I guess I missed the second "Mission Accomplished" banner Bush must have hung before he was chased out of office by the disgust of an entire nation.

Posted by: Nosh1 | February 22, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

So Pawlenty says "Bush pulled us out of recession following 9/11" mention of the fact that had Bush acted on the Aug.8,2001 Presidential Daily Briefing titled "Bin Laden Plans to Attack Inside US"...there never would have been a 9/11 in the first place.

As for Bush's Legacy history will write that under Bush's watch the United States suffered the worst terrorist attack in US history, the worst foreign policy decision in US history (attacking the wrong country for the wrong reasons), the worst response to a major natural disaster (1,800 Americans died after Katrina), and the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression (4 Trillion lost). That's Bush's legacy. Sad, isn't it?

Posted by: logcabin1836 | February 22, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Who cares. Time to move forward.

Posted by: jato11 | February 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I am reminded that George W. Bush turned the Clinton surplus into a deficit during his first year in office and continued to run a deficit every year. And John McCain (back when he had integrity) analogized Congressional spending to that of drunken sailors because Bush refused to use his veto pen.

Posted by: Marveyjay | February 22, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Promise her anything but give her Arpege.
So said the Lanvin perfune ads from the '60's.
Apply same to Bush legacy.

Posted by: jato11 | February 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"Hi, Mitt here again, I also wanted to tell you that if George Bush were to ever come to a sudden stop, my head would go 1/2 way up his backside"

Posted by: yeayea911 | February 22, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney is a flip-flopping empty-suit gasbag. His comments are laughable.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 22, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope the republicans remember to flush the toilet when they're done weighing the legacy.

Posted by: JovialReaper | February 22, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

The GOP really ought to embrace Pawlenty if they don't want to go the way of the do-do bird. But I kinda think they want to go the way of the do-do bird.

Posted by: kurthunt | February 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

In the end Obama’s neocom statism, out-of-control spending, and depression will cancel out any negatives associated with Bush.

Posted by: leapin | February 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney still thinks the GOP likes his a$$. They don't!!!! In fact, the only reason Romney gets invited is to use his money and financial influence to help elect someone else. Mitt is that proverbial kid on the block that has everything and all the other kids on the block hates him because of it; although, this never stops the other kids from visiting Romney to play with his toys and take his money and never pay it back.

Posted by: SteelWheel25 | February 22, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

NO-vember means NO-Republicans.

The party of NO will be Gone Off Planet.

Dick-N-Bush is usually a good thing.

But dick-N-bush screwed this country and tried to bankrupt the USA turning terrorism into a business that they perfected.

SCARE AND STEAL should be the party motto.

The republicans party that scares the citizens and then profits from them.

Just ask any USA terrorist company haliburton, carlyle grp, crapwater. All 3 terrorist companies laughing at Americans all the way to the bank.


Posted by: 1-20-09 | February 22, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The republicans are like an alcoholic who is one week sober with the shakes. They don't know if they should run to the bottle or they should go to a meeting. Personally, I hope they drink themselves to death.

Talk to any sober alcoholic and they all say the same thing: George W. Bush is a dry drunk. Romney, now there is a piece of work. He's another one who couldn't or wouldn't know the truth if it fell on him. Pawlenty says that god trumps the constitution. It is only because we have a Bill of Rights that they can say that stupid stuff. Both of these clowns are pandering to the ultra right. Good.

Posted by: seasail | February 22, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

The Dims are still running against Bush, three years later?

Good luck with that, Dims.

Not only does Barry the incompetent boob Obama have no coattails, Barry's appearance to promote Democrat candidates is the kiss of death. Three appearances by Barry, three Republican victories.

253 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob2 | February 22, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The BUSH legacy for me was his progressive energy policy that was ingrained in his commitment to building a LEED compliant home in other Candidate R or D can match this accomplishment.

The other was NCLB handed to him on a platter by Sen. Ted Kennedy and then fully shredded by the teacher's unions who resist being held accountable for the incompetency of their members.

I strongly disagreed over his occupation of IRAQ and the expansion of our commitment in Afghanistan; while wondering if BUSH was responsible for making sure the WAR ON TERROR really did keep America safe and holding at bay N. Korea and Iran?

The moronic left has personalized their attacks on Bush and left him and Cheney thoroughly demonized as evil; making it impossible to separate his policy accomplishments from their repeated attacks i.e. 'the village in texas missing an idiot', ad nauseum.

And in large part it is the lame-stream media which chortles over these charactertures, and perpetuates their use,.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | February 22, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

What about the obvious corrollary that Obama is making Bush look good by comparison? Obama was against the Surge in Iraq even after it had worked, and then turned around and co-opted the same strategy for Afghanistan. He meets himself both coming and going. The funny thing is that the few successes Obama's had have come from copying Bush. By his own stimulus bill projections, he's made the economy worse than his "worst case" scenario if his stimulus bill wasn't even passed at all, plus he's managed to offend everyone from Great Britain to Japan to India -- and that's just our allies! Obama has also completely ignored a democratic revolution in Iran - IRAN - in favor of kissing up to mullahcrats that give him the finger, sorry, clenched fist whenever they have a chance. Although Bush was smarter than many people gave him credit for (playing the snarky media like a fiddle much like Eisenhower), even if you buy into the NY Times stereotype of a bumbling doofus, which is actually worse: a bumbling doofus, or a smart wealth redistributor? The answers are lining outside our food pantries and soup kitchens every day.

Posted by: zippyspeed | February 22, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait until 2012,when the Grand old hate party/"The party of No" get their butt kicked again!

Posted by: alabama2012 | February 22, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Its so bad they have to dig up Ronald Reagan to campaign for them.

They wish they could bury Bush.

Posted by: gregorysherard | February 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The Dims are still running against Bush, three years later?

Good luck with that, Dims.

Not only does Barry the incompetent boob Obama have no coattails, Barry's appearance to promote Democrat candidates is the kiss of death. Three appearances by Barry, three Republican victories.

253 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob2 | February 22, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are less popular than ever, and fewer people are convinced we should have gone there to begin with. Why would anyone embrace that?

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Mitt is delusional! Bush PULLED US FROM A RECESSION????? HE DEFEATED THE TALIBAN????? No matter what party one is from, truth ought to have some relevance to the annals of history and the truth seems to have totally escaped Romney on this issue. Bush may or may not be judged more kindly, but lets not predicate that treatment on BS. Sheeeze.

Posted by: MdLaw | February 22, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

They already buried Bush and dug up Reagan. Where have you been?

Posted by: gregorysherard | February 22, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the longer term, the Republican Party will need to be seen as something other than the party of Bush. The most dedicated Republican voters -- the ones who always vote, and usually give money to candidates -- is happy belonging to the party of Bush. That's the problem.

The political operatives are the least part of it. A GOP candidate who looks to be going places and can raise enough money to pay them will be able to pick up all the Republican operatives he wants to. Republican voters, not so much -- but Republican voters can't elect a President by themselves. Truth is, the Democrats didn't get nearly as much mileage out of the last Republican President's disastrous record as they could have. Weak partisans and independents will end up running from any Republican Presidential candidate who sounds (or can be made to sound) as if he wanted to run the government the way Bush did.

Reinforcing that difficulty is that too close an identification with Congressional Republicans won't do GOP candidates much good, either. No one outside the hard core of the GOP will vote for a candidate from the "party of no." Allegiance to Bush and alignment with Congressional Republicans are the comfortable place to be within the GOP, but there isn't any way to make that appealing to the rest of the country.

Posted by: jbritt3 | February 22, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

43 should have been turn over to an international war crimes trial if the United States wasn't going to hold our own criminals accountable.

If no one had noticed 43 lead this country and the world into the worst recession since World War II. He took us all the way to the brink of the First Great Depression of the third millennium.

Anyone know what happened to all those voting machines in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004?

Posted by: BigTrees | February 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It's just good to see the GOP as disorganized as the Dems. The dangerous thing about their disarray is that they always feel compelled to run to the far right base, which mathematically won't work for them. You can't win an election with 30% of the vote. By taking so long to perhaps down play Bush, they've endorsed him.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 22, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I for one thought John Kerry's campaign slogan should have been "Show me bin Laden!"

Defeated the Taliban? First of all, the enemy was Al-Qaeda; the Taliban were an obstacle to getting the true bad guys.

Secondly, before the Taliban was defeated, and before we even gave Al-Qaeda a halfway decent slap in the face, W (which seems to stand for "What? Me Worry?") pulled out prematurely (had only George senior done so, as well) and attacked one of Al-Qaeda's enemies, Saddam Hussein. Was Hussein a nasty character? Sure. Was he our enemy in any but the most philosophical sense? Not really.

W squandered our international image, our national economic strength and our most precious resource -- the lives, minds and bodies of bright, strong young patriots -- because he was stupid, narrow-minded and governed with a frat-boy mentality.

Boy, I sure do hope the GOP runs on a pro-W platform. Remember those old Bozo the Clown punching bags, Mitt? They sure were fun.

Posted by: rashton | February 22, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Talk about rewriting history. Bush took a budget surplus and turned it into a trillion dollar deficit. There was no "deepening recession" when Bush took office.

Romney says Bush kept us safe! He ignored warnings prior to the 911 attacks. 911 happened on his watch and while the senate and house were monopolized by the GOP.

He and the GOP started the Iraq war for no reason thereby driving the deficit up to historic levels.

Bush and the GOP financed two wars by borrowing from the Chinese (hardly a smart move by a party that put China forth as one of the biggest threats to our country in 2001).

Romney is totally off base and either lying or exhibiting the usual GOP convenient amnesia. Bush kept the Taliban in business.

How can people say outright bold faced lies in an age of video tape, computers etc. Romney is a true Republican.

Posted by: davidbronx | February 22, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

WOW! How crazy is this? Republicans willing to embrace the Bush lagecy. Seems like political suicide to me, but hey... if that's the best they have to offer maybe they don't deserve to get elected.

Posted by: OhMy | February 22, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Romney says BUSH defeated the Taliban???? Then who does he think it is we're fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan right now??? Santa and his elves?

Revisionism is one thing, but this is downright delusional & proves we were right to reject Romney the last time!

Posted by: SageThrasher | February 22, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you forgot Bush's crony capitalism, tax breaks for the rich, and all the scandals his friends got into, including the dubious Cheney. Bush should be thrown into the recycling bin of history.

Posted by: mildredmartinez923 | February 22, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Are they high? These are the clowns who want to talk fiscal responsibility? Do we really want to start a dialogue about fighting two wars (one of which never had to happen) off the books so the American people never fully comprehended the cost? Who added a whole new incompentent department to the government [Homeland Security] and whose tresury secretary amde sure all his buddies from Goldman Sachs (who made money selling deriivatives and betting against them) got paid? BRING IT ON!

Posted by: braultrl | February 22, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Look at the legacy of the United States since 1980.
torturing nuns in El Salvador
sponsoring terrorist gangs in Nicaragua
invading a declawed and defanged nation and turning it into a terrorist recruiting state
invading a country that once hosted a long-gone gang of criminals who attacked us with no complicity of that nation’s government
using mercenaries who shoot up innocent public gatherings and go unpunished
electing men who turned out to be war criminals and refusing to even acknowledge their crimes, much less prosecute them
refusing to recognize the global effects of our hideous appetite for fossil fuels
Why should anyone do business with us?  Why should anyone exchange ambassadors with us?  If the rest of the world had any sense they would disengage from the rogue nation called America and demand that we be broken up into five smaller nations and submit to UN occupation.  They should refuse to sell us oil.  Five years of no cars would bring us around.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 22, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

There are strong arguments to be made in support of each strategy.


this tepid vapidity is a perfect example of what is so wrong with our politics. On the one hand. On the other hand. This is NOT sagacity.

Posted by: Noacoler | February 22, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

It's becme obvious to most that Robotic Romney will bleat any cliche to get elected, no matter if he 'beleived' the opposite 5 minutes before.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Referent Legacy Bush... bring him to Justice.

Posted by: aldoardi | February 22, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The revisionist restoration of W simply feeds the need of Republicans who supported him and his policies to feel good about their knee-jerk embrace of a disasterous eight years. Just because Trent Lott believed that the world had misunderstood Strom Thurmond did not mean old Srom was not a hardcore racist.
So too with Romney's absurd praise for George W. Bush. Views of his administration might soften as we forget what happened, but trying to sell us the idea that he defeated the Taliban or saved the economy would be hilarious if we were not still coping with the realties of that administration.

Posted by: gratianus | February 22, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Another non-issue inspired by people who believe the mere mention of Bush is sufficient to rally liberals, and recapture independents. Obama has conducted his first year hiding behind that skirt, and now pundits want to extend it into the next Presidential cycle. Good luck...Democrats will have sufficient history to campaign against, and Republicans would be wise to keep the focus right there.

Posted by: ecrutle | February 22, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Bush did an exellent job, and that fact will become crystal clear by the time Comrade Obama's Socialist/Communist agenda screws up this countries economy big time.
People have forgotten that GW Bush also took over a economy in a downturn, and within a year or so had a great economy going. This lasted until 2006, when the Democrap Socialists took over congress, and this recession that we're in now kicked in. Comrade Obama's incompetence and his redistribution of all wealth policies have made it much worse, with no end in sight, so he'll go down in history as our worst president ever.

Posted by: armpeg | February 22, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why Romney would embrace the Bush legacy, especially since his lasting impact is the current recession. Romney wants to run as the economic minded GOPer and embracing Bush isn't going to help him do that.
Now he can remind people of post-9-11 Bush, but then he should turn around and strongly criticize his economic policies. That way he could basically say I will be like Bush on foreign policy but himself on economics.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 22, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Bush pulled the US out of recession?
how , by creating a Depression?

He defeated the taliban? By what, building up AL Quida?

the only good thing that happened under bush was that the republicans loss the house and senate.

Posted by: newagent99 | February 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Throughout the health care debate, President Obama has insisted that Americans who liked their health insurance could keep it. “If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period,” he declared in a speech to the American Medical Association last June. “No one will take it away, no matter what.” While a number of provisions in the existing House and Senate health care bills would undermine that pledge, the proposal Obama unveiled today takes a sledgehammer to it.

another in the long line of lies.

Posted by: drivl | February 22, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse


I just love the way you phrased that: '...differing approaches to Bush are actually being road-tested in Republican primaries around the country....'

Priceless! And is the electorate then to believe Romney, who has gone from being a liberal R. in his incarnation as Gov. of MA, to the ultra-Conservative in his smarmy bit to win the nomination? He's so good at rewriting his own history, he's apparently giving the nation's history a try as well.

Politicians, whilst navigating the rocky streams of electoral politics occasionally must stretch credibility, but if they throw credibility out the window entirely, what are people to believe? That here is a man who will say anything, do anything, leap any chasms of verisimilitude to get elected!

Posted by: sverigegrabb | February 22, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Bush defeated the Taliban? That must be news to our military in Afghanistan.

Posted by: drindl | February 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

His greatest accomplishment was putting this country in the ditch. It took him 8 years, and he did a thoroughgoing job of it.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | February 22, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Bush defeated the Taliban? More Taliban leaders have been caught in the past month under the Obama administration than were caught in seven years under Bush. If Obama's been in office long enough to take blame for the economy he's been in office long enough to take credit for the captures.

Posted by: thecorinthian | February 22, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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