This morning — one week before he steps down from the presidency into what I can only imagine will be a wholly more preferable career as a professional brush clearer — President Bush gave his last ever press conference as president ever.
It wasn't a particularly long press conference, but it was just long enough to give the master raconteur the chance to explain away all the mistakes of the past eight years. And he didn't really need much time at all. Because there weren't any "mistakes"…
You don't — you don't get to have information after you've made the decision. That's not the way it works. And you're — you stand by your decisions and you do your best to explain why you made the decisions you made. There have been disappointments.
Abu Ghraib, obviously, was a huge disappointment, during the presidency. You know, not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment. I don't know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were — things didn't go according to plan, let's put it that way.
He went on to say that it'll be up to the historians, not him, to him to judge his two terms as Commander-in-Chief. It's true. It'll be up to future generations to decide if Bush was a "mistake," a "disappointment" or a "things didn't go according to plan."
It's certainly one of those three. He's right about that. I imagine they'll be much debate over that in the years ahead. Why, we'd need one of those future-fangled time machines to fully understand that now.
Thank God, no one's invented one yet…
I don't think you can possibly get the full breadth of an administration until time has passed. You know, where does a president's — did a president's decisions have the impact that he thought they would — or he thought they would, over time? Or how did this president compare to future presidents, given a set of circumstances that may be similar or not similar?
I mean, it's just impossible to do and I'm comfortable with that.
Somehow, I imagined he would be.
Tags: Abu Ghraib, George W. Bush, Hurricane Katrina, Torture, Weather