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. who cares coldwar vet

    George Bush made enough money in his big oil investments. Whatever he decides to do, I'm sure he'll have no problem. I didn't vote for the guy and I'm glad his term is almost over. If I never see another Bush in politics I'd be happy as "W" with his millions.

    December 5, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. PDX Gal

    Could he get a job as a pretzel taster?

    December 5, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Maureen, NM

    Don't hold your breath, he's got 6 more weeks to scr@w something else up.

    Tick tock already.

    December 5, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Uncle Fester

    He will do fine. He has the "downright pathetic" part down pat.

    December 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. reginald smith fairfax va

    ill bet u his speaking fees will be very very low for an ex president . only the extream and i mean the fall off the table right wing of the party will pay him anymoney and with the economy today that wont be much .

    December 5, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Maureen, NM

    @ Clinton Basher.

    George W. Bush killed over 4,000 soldiers. Did Kerry? No. Get your priorities straight. If a president doesn't flip flop on some things, he's crazy. Sometimes changing your mind is a good thing. I wish we had voted for Kerry, then we wouldn't be in this mess.

    December 5, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. phil

    what am thinking is what would have been the state of things if john mccain has won, America would have become as poor as bangladesh or burma.

    December 5, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. sue bush and his cronies to bankrupsy!

    chase him and his masters to the end of the world!

    leave no room for them to rest in at humanity's expense!

    December 5, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. Barbara in NC

    I don't feel sorry for him – look at what he's left us to navigate - job losses, home losses, and debt for decades. Just wish he would leave already, and take Cheney and his other cronies with him.

    December 5, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. Naomi, WI

    If his new house isn't in h#ll, then who cares. His soul should burn in a big barn fire for what he did to this country. Men and women have died, they can't move into a new home. Who cares about his stupid legacy. We know what it is– he's the WORST PRESIDENT EVER.

    How many times do we have to say it, the WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER, THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER

    December 5, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Bush has already told us what he plans to do: cut brush and refill the ol' coffers on the lecture circuit: Considering how much distance the GOP candidates kept between themselves and Bush, I wouldn't expect a huge speaking fee ... especially if only the people who love him are allowed in ...

    December 5, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. David Goldman

    JR. HAS FAILED AT EVERYTHING SR.MADE AVAILABLE

    TO HIM. HE HAS ONE SUCCESS & THAT IS ROBING THE

    AMERICAN CITIZENS OF THEIR TAX DOLLARS. AT LEAST

    HE DOESN'T HAVE TO EARN A LIVING. HOWEVER WE HAVE TO

    LAY THE BLAME WHERE IT BELONGS, THE AMERICAN VOTER.

    JR. COULDN'T SPEAK ENGLISH DURING THE CAMPAIGN AND

    NOTHING CHANGED DURING THE PRESIDENCY EXCEPT WE

    FOUND OUT, THE MAN CARES FOR NOTHING OR NO ONE ON

    PLANET EARTH EXCEPT HIS BANK ACCOUNT & HIS HUGE EGO.

    December 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Don

    I just pray to God this idiot and his cronies end up in prison!!!!!! The American people deserve to see it.

    December 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. New Yorker

    Whatever President Bush does I'll always be grateful for his decision to do whatever he could to defend the people of this country. May God bless him for his integrity and willingness to serve even the ungrateful cowards who were against the war in Iraq. At least the Iraqi people are thankful for the freedom from tyranny and most of the troops were happy to be instrumental in that freedom.

    December 5, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Bush "wil not go gentle into that good night." He will rant and rave that he stayed true to the cause and committed no sins or mistakes. There will be no redemption because he is a proud man who cannot confess to shortcomings.

    December 5, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  16. an Ex republican

    someone on FOX or CNN needs to put a microphone in front of the "CRIPPLED DUCK" and ask the soon to be ex -president... why he has been focusing on buying a new house in DALLAS instead of working on the US Economic CRISIS!!!!! BTW the house is in the richest neighborhood in TEXAS...... I wonder if he will have to qualify for that loan???? or which bank he bailed out will help him... or which oil exec he invites over to his new house first......go Georgy boy get out NOW !!! dont wait until 1/20 you have doen enough damage!!!!

    December 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. ran

    He along with his crew should be spending it in jail.

    December 5, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz

    IF BUSH WERE CAPABLE OF TELLING THE TRUTH, HIS

    MEMOIRS WOULD BE INTERESTING READING. WE WOULD

    FIND OUT TO WHOM DID HE SELL PIECES OF AMERICA AND

    WHAT WERE THE KICKBACKS TO HIM & HIS PACK OF HYENAS.

    December 5, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. Don

    Oh and by the way. He is supposed to get a salary for the rest of his live , and secret service protection, and on and on.........Forget it!! He is not entitled to anything that the American people have to pay for. Am I angry?? YOU BETCHA!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. gerri

    If you look closely at the eyes,nothing more needs to be said.I would have a beer with him now that hes just a regular citizen.

    December 5, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. j

    I don't see how anyone can put a good spin on the complete incompetence of the Bush administration. His legacy ought to be his complete disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law. The fact that Congress aided and abetted in the decisions of this President should also be acknowledged in the history books.

    December 5, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. Meka

    Library Books will consist of:
    1- "How to Blindside the Public"
    2- "Liars Get Caught"
    3- "Always Put Self First"

    Did Cheney give Bush permission to do this?

    December 5, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Susan

    I think he should drive an ATV into a roadless area, clearcut some old growth forest, kill off the rest of whatever endangered bird lives there, and build a library! It's important to be consistent.

    The earth is taking a big deep sigh of relief to see him exit.

    December 5, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  24. Annoyed Jarhead

    Mari,

    Let us not forget that 9/11 was planned and put into action long before Mr. Bush was in office. In essence, it seems to be Mr. Clinton's fault for allowing it to happen because of his ignorance of intelligence. And yes, I do know. I was there serving and protecting you even when it was not appreciated. Not that it is appreciated now...

    Semper Fidelis

    December 5, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  25. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    I think JQ Adams' statement of 'downright pathetic' applies to Bush's Presidency as well.

    December 5, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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