In our final interview, on May 21, 2008, the president talked irritably of how he believed there was an "elite" class in America that thought he could do nothing right. He was more guarded than ever, often answered that he could not remember details, and emphasized many times how much he had turned over to Stephen J. Hadley, his loyal and trusted national security adviser. There was an air of resignation about him, as if he realized how little he could change in his eight months left as president.Meanwhile, Bush the C-grade student is today set to receive a C grade as President:
He alternately insisted that he was "consumed" by the war, "reviewing every day," before adding, "But make sure you know, it's not as though I'm sitting behind the desk and totally overwhelmed by Iraq, because the president's got to do a lot of other things."
By his own ambitious goals of 2001, he had fallen short. He had not united the country, but had added to its divisions and had become the most divisive figure in the country. He acknowledged to me that he had failed "to change the tone in Washington." He had not rooted out terror wherever it existed. He had not achieved world peace. He had not attained victory in his two wars...
Seven years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the federal government has made only limited progress toward preventing a catastrophic nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil and combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction abroad, according to a report card to be issued tomorrow by 22 former U.S. officials.Yeah, let's all listen to Lee Hamilton eh? Maybe he'll recommend Philip Zelikow as Counter-Proliferation Czar? Wonder what the salary will be, and what kind of budget he'll command, and which companies will get the contracts, etc etc etc....
The bipartisan Partnership for a Secure America gave the United States an overall grade of C. The government received in total three D's, eight C's and seven B's in areas such as sustaining support of foreign scientists and governments, integrating programs to prevent nuclear terrorism and strengthening multilateral law enforcement efforts.
The group urged the next president to appoint a cabinet-level White House coordinator with the authority to direct counterproliferation plans, programs and funding "from day one." The panel was co-chaired by Lee H. Hamilton (D), former congressman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Warren Rudman (R), former senator and co-chairman of a 2001 blue-ribbon commission on terrorism.
Of course Bush has been a failure in the eyes of the world, and in the eyes of US voters. But to his base, who have benefited hugely from his largesse, will he not always be a hero?
Well, no actually. They think he has been a useful idiot. That is all.
The big question for them is: who's next?