THE BUSH LEGACY PROJECT…. George W. Bush recently took a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to his role in history, telling ABC News, “I don’t spend a lot of time really worrying about short-term history. I guess I don’t worry about long-term history, either, since I’m not going to be around to read it, but, look, in this job you just do what you can.”
Putting aside whether the president actually believes this — Adam Serwer makes the case that Bush is “blatantly lying” with his casual approach to his place in history — Bush seems to have some friends who remain very much concerned about his legacy. The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes noted on CNN yesterday:
“[T]here’s an ongoing Bush legacy project that’s been meeting in the White House, really, with senior advisers, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes has been involved, current senior Bush administration advisers and they are looking at how to sort of roll out the president’s legacy.”
I’m at a bit of a loss trying to imagine what the “Bush legacy project” hopes to accomplish. After Ronald Reagan left office, some Republican sycophants crafted the “Reagan legacy project,” which existed to convince policy makers to name airports, bridges, highways, and schools after the 40th president. (They also pushed to see Reagan’s face on dimes and Mount Rushmore.) For reasons that I’ll never fully understand, the project met with considerable success.
But a Bush legacy project? Rove, Hughes, and others are going to spend time on an organized national campaign to convince Americans that Bush really was great, despite what we might believe? (Recommended slogan: “George W. Bush: Not Quite as Humiliating as Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan.”)
We’ll see how this turns out. With a lot of hard work and creative spinning, maybe the legacy team can get Bush’s approval rating back up above 25%. I’m skeptical, but hey, dare to dream.
Update: The Washington Times has this headline today: “Rove: Bush hardly worst president.” Now there’s a legacy builder.