A Bush Do-Over Wish? Or Just Part of Legacy Building?
A lot has been said and written about the latest “exit” interview by President Bush with ABC’s Charles Gibson.
In her December 3 show, Rachel Maddow includes parts of this interview in a fascinating report on how Bush has assembled a team in the White House, including several former senior advisers such as Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, to “rewrite history” as part of the “Bush Legacy Project.”
As I said, the entire report is fascinating. But what especially caught my attention was Bush’s response to a question by Gibson on “do-overs.”
Bush’s response will probably be analyzed and critiqued over and over again, not only because of what he said (he passes the buck, blames others and other “things,” or, perhaps for the first time, admits an error, a failure, and–perhaps, perhaps–even accepts some responsibility); because of what he didn’t say (a lot!); but also because of the way in which he said it. His halting, bumbling, sighing, even somewhat sniffling performance could have been because he is unsure, because he truly has some regrets, because this is part of his “legacy building,” or perhaps he was just being his old self. You be the judge.
Below are Gibson’s question, and Bush’s response, as best as I could transcribe it, eh’s, ah’s, uh’s and all.
GIBSON: You’ve always said there’s no do-overs as President. If you had one?
BUSH: I don’t know — the biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and, said, you know, eh, hum, ah,you know, eh, ah, the weapons of mass destruction is [sic] a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It wasn’t just, eh, ah, people in my administration, and, eh, ah, you known (sigh) eh… And, ah, (sigh) you know, that’s not a do-over, but uh, I wou.., you know, I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.
Listen for yourself in the MSNBC video of The Rachel Maddow show, about 3:40 minutes into the video, and stay tuned for more Bush “do-overs.”