President Barack Obama must be a very unhappy man. Having suffered a “shellacking” at the polls early this November, he returns from a mostly failed trip to Asia to find George W. Bush basking in prominence and new found respect.
Former President Bush has just published “Decision Points”, one part Presidential memoirs, one part manual on how to be a leader. Bush is going on a progress through the radio and television talk show circuit. All Bush’s successor has to do is to turn the dial to see and hear him, in his relaxed, occasionally halting way, talk about his administration. Here is Bush talking to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity about the proper way to manage an economy and to hammer the terrorists. There is Bush explaining his more controversial decisions to Bill O’Reilly or Matt Lauer, not giving an inch or expressing regret. And over there is George W. Bush charming the socks off of Oprah Winfrey, who has once proclaimed Obama as “the One.”
Et tu, Oprah?
“Bush must know, however, that his steadfast refusal to make any comment at all about Obama’s presidency stands in stark contrast to the derision he has received from his successor. He is self-aware enough to realise that his pithy, confident interview answers are sharply different from Obama’s wordy circumlocutions.
“Who would have thought that the man hailed as a great American orator and whose stage at the 2008 Democratic convention was a faux Greek temple would be shown up in terms of the theatricality and articulation of the presidency by the man derided as a tongue-tied bumbler and global village idiot? “
To add insult to injury, Bush steadfastly refuses to admonish his successor at all, in stark contrast to Obama’s constant criticism and blame shifting toward him. Bush does not have to say anything. His very presence is a rebuke of the One who was once the bringing of hope and change, but who is now a big disappointment to his supporters and the focus of irritation to everyone else. The fact that Bush is casual and self deprecating as opposed to Obama’s pompousness and prickliness bespeaks of an easy self confidence that contrasts with his successor’s insecurity.
Even before Bush began his book tour, a poster of him waving and smiling amiably with the caption: “Miss Me Yet?” had gone viral on the Internet. One gets the impression that if the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution were to be suddenly repealed, and if George W. Bush were to shake off his reluctance to return to the political arena, he might just be able to knock off Obama in 2012.
Realization of the fact must gnaw Obama’s heart like a worm, slow, painful, but persistent. The man who left office less than two years ago with as low an approval rating as can be, has now returned from political oblivion as a walking, talking nightmare. Life is just filled with great ironies like that.
Source: The Decider returns to haunt Mr Nuance as George W. Bush eclipses Barack Obama, Toby Harnden,The Telegraph, November 13th, 2010