OBAMA GETS BUSH’S ‘SILENCE’…. There’s a tradition that discourages former presidents from publicly criticizing sitting presidents. I’m glad to see George W. Bush honor this.

Former President George W. Bush, making his first public speech since leaving office in January, says he wants Barack Obama to succeed and that it’s “essential” to support the new leader.

Bush declined to critique the Obama administration in Tuesday’s speech, saying the new president has enough critics and that he “deserves my silence.” […]

“I love my country a lot more than I love politics,” Bush said. “I think it is essential that he be helped in office.”

That’s a very nice sentiment. But I hope Bush isn’t playing “good cop” to Dick Cheney’s “bad cop.”

Indeed, while the former president believes it’s “essential” to support Obama, the former vice president waited all of two weeks after the inauguration before accusing Obama of coddling terrorists and putting American lives at risk.

Maybe the country “deserves” Dick Cheney’s “silence,” too?

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.