December 5th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Bush must navigate a treacherous post-presidency

 In his post-presidency, George Bush has plans to construct a presidential library and work on his memoirs.
In his post-presidency, George Bush has plans to construct a presidential library and work on his memoirs.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It's a position that John Quincy Adams once called downright pathetic: that of a former president.

After all, the process of relinquishing the most powerful job in the world isn't an easy one, especially given the American public's notoriously fleeting attention span and penchant for paying little heed to once-prominent political figures after they exit the public stage.

As the days dwindle until President Bush joins what Herbert Hoover called the "most exclusive trade union in the world," the unpopular commander in chief appears decidedly enthusiastic about embracing a lower profile, recently declaring that he's more than ready to forgo the limelight.

Although ex-presidents in Adams' day quickly descended into obscurity after their years in the Oval Office, today the transition away from serving as the leader of the free world is high-profile, potentially very lucrative and, above all, a difficult job in itself.

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Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Meh

    Man, will I be glad to be rid of that perma-smirk. Ugh.

    December 5, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Matt

    His only shot at redemption is to stay high profile and do good in the world with something like what Clinton has done. Even then I think St. Peter might give him a thorough curbstomping at the Pearly Gates before letting him through.

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. jack debrot, new york, new york

    thank you president bush for keeping america safe.

    December 5, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Matt

    Look at that face. That's the face of a monkey about to chuck a doodoo.

    December 5, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Franky

    Last time I checked, his season ain't over and by the way, last time I checked, who's signature is on that 700 billion dollar bailout? Hey, he couldv'e done what he does best and that's veto anything that comes near him...

    Let's see who will have the moral victory first...the Lions or President. But the president is on a low down than he ever was. What a Christmas there gonna have that's for sure...

    December 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Robert Wooller Bradford England UK

    What surpises me about Bush is that he doesn't even make up for the mistakes he has made. Okay, so if there was bad intel with Iraq and he regrets the information and the decision he made, why has he not made up for it this last year? What is his plan with the economy? Is he so weak that he can't do anything? Surely not. And doesn't he care about his legacy in history when he has gone and can't make any difference? I think 24 per cent poll ratings in most polls is pretty dire, and pro-Bush people should abandon him now instead of embarressing themselves by defending him on Youtube. Bush has been a complete disaster for America no doubt about it.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Cori from Colorado

    I'm glad to see Bush will be leaving the white house, and moving into obscurity. I don't blame him, he's not liked by many at the moment. I would do the same.

    December 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. JUSTICE??

    Indeed he should. If there was even the slightest semblance of justice in this land of democracy he would be going straight to jail where he most definitely belongs!

    Somehow I doubt that will ever happen though. Simply not enough room because of all the real criminals..those that dont pay their taxes n such.

    December 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. paul (staunch Moderate)

    By all rights he should be busy defending himself in a court of law for lying to Congress. There is too much evidence pointing to his intentional deceit.

    December 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Ex-Republican

    Bush will be known as: King George, the only king to have ever ruled the USA.

    He single handedly sent us back to in time to the great depression. Stole many of our liberties and murdered many of our children in an illegal war while running like a coward from the true villians that brought our towers down.

    He will NEVER be known as an even 'adequate' president. He sucked to high heaven, and then some. May he rot in hell for his domestic terrorism and abuse of authority!

    December 5, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Anton Moore

    George Bush , Karl Rove and Dick Cheney all need to be thrown in jail!

    December 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Joann

    Obscurity is his best bet. I am sure he can not wait to be out of the limelight. With all the damage he has done on every front, he should hide and stay hidden. What a waste of 8 years and now the American people are left to deal with the mess he created. Thanks W-ya!!

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. JL

    Trust me, it won't be that difficult for Bush. He's been working on staying out of the limelight for at least a year.

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Karen from Charlottesville

    Bush 1 and Clinton have both done great things as elder statesmen, but I don't think GW is of the same caliber. Let him go back to the ranch – I am certain that he has some pretty dark nights to remind him of all his failures as President.

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. EB

    Memoirs???? Don't bother, I thihk Dr. Seuss has it covered.

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  16. proudliberal

    i think he could become the most famous 'dunk-tank' 'droppee' in history.

    December 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Ex-Republican

    Some people still think Bush kept us safe.

    It took four planes to attack us while he was in office. I don't call that protecting us...I almost think he was part of the attack.

    How can you fail to guard against FOUR planes? He had intelligence dating back to his president elect status but he somehow STILL couldn't keep us safe.

    One of the examples republicans like to use when they point to bad presidents is Carter. We were not attacked on our native soil under Carter, nor any other president since FDR, Pearl Harbor (and just for the record, that was 6 carriers, close to 400 planes with two strikes against us...quite a bit more then FOUR FRICKING PLANES HIJACKED AT THE POINT OF PLASTIC KNIVES).

    I guess that makes Carter 100% better then Bush, since he protected us the ENTIRE TIME HE WAS IN OFFICE. And yea, Carter sucked...but man, GW. Bush takes the cake as the undisputed WORSE PRESIDENT EVER!

    December 5, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. John E Lexington KY

    Bush should – by court order – spend four years washing dishes in a soup kitchen for the unemployed and homeless. If his father had made him do such work growing up he might have thought of public service as something other than servicing yourself at the expense of the public.

    December 5, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Dave, Central Illinois

    No attack since 9/11, bloodthirsty dictator gone, new democracy in the Middle East, Gaddafi tamed, AIDs epidemic halted in Africa....yeah, Bush didn't do anything good during his administration. I would be so impressed if the Obamites would tame their hate long enough to be objective. Notice how Obama has tamed his leftist foreign policy stances once he received his first intelligence briefing?

    December 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. jean

    He'll probably say, "Mission accomplished!" and not even know what it refers to.

    December 5, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. carol

    Bush is not exactly interested anymore from what we have seen recently, he looks so vacant and I wonder if he really knows who is the President these days!!!
    I bet he can't wait to see the back of his term and believe you me there are many more millions out there who feel the same way.....me being one of them.
    Bush has been an abysmal President and history will not look kindly upon him I don't think....not engaged on most things now for years...thank heaven we have a new President who will look and act more the part in the coming years.

    December 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Rick Houston TX

    Send him to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity...

    Worst. President. Ever. Period.

    December 5, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. working mom

    Good riddance to you sir. If this country will not hold you accountable for your deeds, perhaps an international court will, but if all else fails, you will be held accountable before a Higher Court. May God have mercy on your soul.

    December 5, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. pat huntington ny

    perhaps he should volunteer at the VA Hospitals helping all the wounded vets he sent for slaughter in his unnecessary war.

    December 5, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Michelle, PA

    Seriously, I hope Dubya finds a way post-Presidency to make up for all of his failings in the White House. I don't wish him ill, and I don't know that he's a bad man – just seriously backward and out of his league. May he find something rewarding and constructive to do with his new position. Cheyney, Rumsfeld, and the rest of the dark side on the other hand.....may they get what they deserve.

    December 5, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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