Join our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags Matching:

George W. Bush


  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    Julian Zelizer: George W. Bush's Legacy is on the Mend

    Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "Governing America." (CNN) -- Former President George W. Bush is enjoying another bounce in the post-presidential polls. First, the opening of his presidential library produced a spate of positive coverage about his time in office. Now, Gallup has released a survey showing that for the first time since 2005, more people approve than disapprove of Bush.This kind of shift in public opinion is likely to continue, with more upswings as well as downturns ahead. This is the nature of presidential legacies. They are a bit like what Mark Twain once said about the weather in New England: if you don't like it, just wait a second and it will change.Presidential reputations are never fixed in stone.

  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    Slate: George W. Bush's ancestor a notorious slave trader

    BUNCE ISLAND, Sierra Leone—Twelve American presidents owned slaves, eight while serving in office, and at least 25 presidents count slave owners among their ancestors. But new historical evidence shows that a direct ancestor of George W. and George H.W. Bush was part of a much more appalling group: Thomas Walker was a notorious slave trader active in the late 18th century along the coast of West Africa.Walker, George H.W. Bush's great-great-great grandfather, was the captain of, master of, or investor in at least 11 slaving voyages to West Africa between 1784 and 1792....

  • Originally published 05/01/2013

    Presidential Historian Notes ‘Sense Of Camaraderie’ At Bush Library Dedication

    George W. Bush shed a sentimental tear. Barack Obama mused about the burdens of the office. Bill Clinton dished out wisecracks. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush chimed in, too, on a rare day of harmony at the dedication of the younger Bush’s presidential library that glossed over the hard edges and partisan divides of five presidencies spanning more than three tumultuous decades.“To know the man is to like the man,” Obama declared of his Republican predecessor, speaking Thursday before a crowd of 10,000 at an event that had the feel of a class reunion for the partisans who had powered the Bush administration from 2001 to 2009. Dick Cheney was there in a white cowboy hat. Condoleezza Rice gave shout-outs to visiting dignitaries. Colin Powell and Karl Rove were prominent faces in the crowd.Presidential historian Terry Golway is an author and a professor at the Kean University Center for History, Politics and Policy....

  • Originally published 04/26/2013

    Historians Still Despise George W. Bush

    Image via Shutterstock.Former president George W. Bush has had his best week in years. His public approval ratings have hit a seven-year high, publications around the country have published articles reassessing his legacy, and he was warmly joined by all of the living former presidents at the dedication of his new presidential library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Jonathan Bernstein: History Will Not Be Kind to George W. Bush

    Jonathan Bernstein is a columnist for the Washington Post.George W. Bush is not remembered with any enthusiasm currently. That’s not likely to change.Whatever way it’s measured, he’s not doing too well. Gallup has his retrospective approval at 47 percent; that’s third-lowest in the polling era, better than only Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson (Harry Enten has more on placing post-presidential approval in context). As far as historians and other students of the presidency, it’s even worse; Bush falls in the bottom quarter of the ratings surveys in which he’s been included.

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Bush library dedication

    DALLAS — All the living American presidents past and present are gathering in Dallas, a rare reunion to salute one of their own at the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.Profound ideological differences and a bitter history of blaming each other for the nation’s woes will give way — if just for a day — to pomp and pleasantries Thursday as the five members of the most exclusive club in the world appear publicly together for the first time in years. For Bush, 66, the ceremony also marks his unofficial return to the public eye four years after the end of his deeply polarizing presidency.Bush will be feted by his father, George H.W. Bush, and the two surviving Democratic former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. President Barack Obama, fresh off a fundraiser for Democrats the night before, will also speak at the event at the sprawling, 23-acre complex housing the presidential library, museum and policy institute....

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Keli Goff: Do We Need Any More Clintons or Bushes?

    Keli Goff is The Root's political correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.(The Root) -- Largely overlooked amid the wall-to-wall coverage of the Boston terror attacks was some intriguing and potentially important political news. Former President George W. Bush weighed in on speculation regarding his brother former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's presidential prospects, saying that he hopes his sibling runs for the nation's highest office in 2016.If Bush runs, it is unlikely that he will be the only familiar name on the ballot. It is widely believed that former first lady-turned-Senator-turned-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also run. This means that regardless of political party, the White House could soon be occupied by a familiar name and family. 2016 might just end up feeling a bit like a flashback from A Christmas Carol -- except, instead of all of us taking a stroll down memory lane to revisit Christmases past, we'll be visiting elections past.Here's a question for American voters: Are political dynasties actually good for America? 

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Julian Zelizer: History's Jury is Still Out on George W. Bush

    Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "Governing America."(CNN) -- On Thursday, President Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are due to attend the grand opening of President George W. Bush's presidential library and archive in Dallas, Texas.The opening of the library offers an opportunity to think again about the legacy of the Bush presidency. As Obama and the former presidents look around the museum, they will see many exhibits that symbolize how the jury is still out on most of the major issues. Events in the coming years will play a huge role in how history is likely to remember Bush's White House.There are four big questions about his presidency.1. How effective and how just were Bush's counterterrorism policies? Bush came into office much more concerned about domestic issues like education and taxation, but after the 9/11 terror attacks, he invested a great deal of his power in the counterterrorism program.

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Bush popularity hits 7-year high

    Days before the official opening of his presidential library, George W. Bush is experiencing something of a comeback when it comes to his public image.Almost as many people (47 percent) approve of how Bush handled his eight years in office as disapprove (50 percent), according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. That’s the highest approval rating for Bush since December 2005.  Bush’s approval dipped all the way to 23 percent in Post-ABC polling in October 2008 and was just 33 percent in January 2009 when he left office. (His approval rating was below 40 percent for 26 consecutive months before his term ended, the longest streak of sub-40 presidential ratings since polling began in the 1930s.)

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Rewinding history, Bush museum lets you decide

    ...The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be officially dedicated on Thursday on the campus of Southern Methodist University in a ceremony that will bring together President Obama and the four living ex-presidents. Leaving aside for a day the partisan rancor that marked Mr. Bush’s tenure, they will help celebrate his eight years as president and six as governor of Texas.The $250 million complex houses the 13th official presidential library, and the third in Texas, but it is the first of the iPad era. The exhibits are filled with modern gadgetry and 25 different films and interactive videos. Many of the artifacts of the period are on display — a butterfly ballot from Palm Beach County, Fla., a replica of Mr. Bush’s Oval Office, the bullhorn he used at ground zero and a gnarled steel beam from the World Trade Center demolished on Sept. 11, 2001.

  • Originally published 04/23/2013

    Filling the Empty Battlefield

    Federal Street in Boston, deserted during the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013. Credit: Flickr/Brian BirkeOriginally posted on TomDispatch.com

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    Erika Eichelberger: Violence on the Home Front

    Erika Eichelberger is a senior editorial fellow at Mother Jones where she writes regularly for the website. She is also director of social media for TomDispatch. She has written for the Nation, the Brooklyn Rail, and Alternet.Since the Newtown massacre, visions of unfathomable crazy mass killers and armed strangers in the night have colonized the American mind. Proposed laws have been drawn up that would keep potential mass murderers from getting their hands on assault weapons and high-capacity clips, or that would stop hardened criminals from buying guns. But the danger out there is both more mundane and more terrible:you're more likely to be hurt or killed by someone you know or love. And you'll probably be at home when it happens.

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Doug Bandow: Obama Didn't Lose Iraq

    Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.A decade ago President George W. Bush invaded Iraq. U.S. forces quickly triumphed. But that counted for little when Secretary of State John Kerry visited Baghdad last weekend seeking Iraqi assistance against Syria’s Bashar Assad. What Washington thinks doesn’t matter much in Baghdad these days.Most Americans recognize that blame for the Iraq debacle lies with the Bush administration. It was a foolish, unnecessary war followed by a myopic, bungled occupation. No wonder Washington is finding benefits from its policy of being illusive at best.Yet the leading cheerleaders for the war remain undaunted.

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Chuck Spinney: Inside the Decider’s Head

    Franklin (Chuck) Spinney retired from the Defense Department in 2003 after a military-civilian career spanning 33 years. The latter 26 of those years were as a staff analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.In the summer of 2002, during the lead-up to the Iraq war, a White House official expressed displeasure with an article written by journalist Ron Suskind in Esquire. He asserted that people like Suskind were trapped “in what we call the reality-based community,” which the official defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.”Suskind murmured something about enlightenment principles grounded in scientific empiricism, but the official cut him off, saying, “That’s not the way the world really works anymore … We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” [Emphasis added.]

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    George W. Bush library set to open at SMU

    The construction fence is down; the heavy equipment is gone.After 2 1/2 years of construction -- and several years of planning -- work on the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the edge of Southern Methodist University is down to the finishing touches.Workers are busy arranging exhibits, beginning the last phase of landscaping and addressing other final details before the center, a tribute to the 43rd president, is unveiled to an invitation-only audience April 25 and to the general public May 1."What was a dream four years ago is today a reality," Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation, has said.The reality is a 226,560-square-foot center that houses a library and a museum, presidential archives, a public policy institute, the Bush foundation and a 15-acre park, all honoring Bush's two terms in office....Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/25/186807/george-w-bush-library-set-to-open.html?storylink=addthis#.UVBctofxQTM.twitter#storylink=cp

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Donald Rumsfeld: "What Will History Say?"

    Credit: Flickr/Thierry Ehrmann.As conditions in Iraq spiraled downward in 2005, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld prodded the Pentagon press corps to adopt the long view. Instead of focusing on short-term setbacks and daily violence, with all the “gloom and doom” this involved, “we should ask what history will say.” Fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan was admittedly “tough and ugly,” but history would reveal that “America was on freedom’s side,” and that “literally millions of people were enjoying liberty” because of the brave actions of coalition forces.Famously weak on predictions, Rumsfeld’s suggestion that history will judge the two wars a success and the harbinger of freedom for “literally millions,” seems unlikely. But having just passed the tenth anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq, the secretary’s question is worth pondering: what will history say about this war of choice? And more importantly, what should be remembered?

  • Originally published 03/22/2013

    The Iraq War: A Failure of Presidential Leadership

    2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Credit: DoD.In Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime, Eliot Cohen argues that civilian leaders need to be deeply involved in the creation and execution of military strategy. His examination of Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill, and David Ben-Gurion shows that civilian leaders who immerse themselves in politico-military decision-making fare better than those who leave the most important decisions to their generals. Cohen published his book in 2002, just in time for President George W. Bush to read it during a vacation in Texas, about six months before U.S. forces invaded Iraq.

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Hacker releases paintings by GWB

    Guccifer, the notorious hacker who shared George W. Bush’s magnificent nude portraits with the rest of the world, is at it again, having released six more paintings in Bush’s seemingly expanding collection. Since images of the paintings first surfaced, the nation has learned that the former president is also an accomplished dog painter, having painted more than 50 dogs....

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    James Jay Carafano: History and the Blame Game Ten Years After Iraq

    James Jay Carafano is director of the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation....As the world marks the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq, essays assessing what happened in that conflict and the “lessons learned” abound.  But the lessons drawn are likely to tell much more about how Americans feel about their place in the world today than what really happened a decade ago.As a practicing historian, I know how historians practice.  Rewriting history is our stock and trade.  There are only two reasons to restate the past. The first is the recovery of important new information. In 1974, for example, the U.S. and British governments acknowledged the Ultra secret: that for much of World War II, the allies had been able to read the top secret messages of both Germany and Japan. That revelation sent scholars back to rewrite, because new accounts were needed to interpret what the allies did based on what the allies really knew.

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    The Speechwriter: David Frum on the Rhetoric of Iraq

    My youngest daughter was born in December 2001: a war baby. When my wife nursed little Beatrice in the middle of the night, she’d hear F-16s patrolling the Washington skies.During the weeks before, anthrax attacks had killed five people and infected 17 others. What would come next?In October, I attended a crowded briefing in the fourth-floor auditorium of the Executive Office Building, at which the Secret Service explained its plans to protect the White House against a biological attack. They weren’t very reassuring. Basically, we’d all be dead. Even more disturbing were the small-session briefings by staffers for the new Homeland Security adviser. They warned of simultaneous car bombings at strategic intersections, targeted assassinations of officials as they retrieved their morning papers from their stoops, and poisonous gases released in Metro stations....These anxieties may sound luridly overdramatic today, but they suffused the mental atmosphere of the government of the United States as President Bush made the fateful decision to launch the Iraq War.

  • Originally published 01/23/2013

    In Defense of Transactional Presidents

    Five presidents: Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter. Taken in 1991.Many people assume that leaders with transformational objectives and an inspirational style are better or more ethical than leaders with more modest objectives and a transactional style. We tend to think of Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan as more impressive than Dwight Eisenhower or George H. W. Bush. Leadership theorists often dismiss transactional leaders as mere “managers.” But that is a mistake.

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    Obama's sad press conference record

    President Obama had fewer press conferences during his first term than any other president since Ronald Reagan, Politico reports.With Monday's event, Obama has done a total of 79 over four years. That's 10 fewer than George W. Bush, 54 fewer than Bill Clinton and 63 fewer than George H.W. Bush.Reagan had only 27 press conferences during his first term.

  • Originally published 01/15/2013

    Julian Zelizer: America Lives Under the Shadow of George W. Bush

    Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and of "Governing America."Although some Democrats are pleased that taxes will now go up on the wealthiest Americans, the recent deal to avert the fiscal cliff entrenches, rather than dismantles, one of Bush's signature legacies -- income tax cuts. Ninety-nine percent of American households were protected from tax increases, aside from the expiration of the reduced rate for the payroll tax.In the final deal, Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to preserve most of the Bush tax cuts, including exemptions on the estate tax.When Bush started his term in 2001, many of his critics dismissed him as a lightweight, the son of a former president who won office as result of his family's political fortune and a controversial decision by the Supreme Court on the 2000 election.

History News Network