January 8th, 2009
04:42 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush Delivers Final Policy Speech with Few Watching

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) - Twelve days before he leaves office, President Bush delivered his final policy speech, choosing to focus on his signature education reform law known as "No Child Left Behind."

But as he spoke, television networks – including CNN – carried another address happening simultaneously: President-elect Barack Obama's speech on the ailing US economy.

"At the end of the presidency, you get to do a lot of 'lasts,'” Mr. Bush noted in his remarks at a school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"This is my last policy speech. As President of the United States, this is the last policy address I will give," Bush said.

"What makes it interesting is that it's the same subject of my first policy address as President of the United States, which is education and education reform."

soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Ian

    Left behind what?

    January 8, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. guarg

    NCLB. While it has some serious flaws, I will give it credit for one thing. When I first started teaching (1998 under Clinton) staff development was basically nap time and vacation time for many of the teachers I met. After 2001 and the beginnings of NCLB, things changed. Now I am a veteran teacher and have seen a few different districts reform under NCLB and even the coaches have to cancel their meetings and attend staff development.

    The rest of the critics can whine all they want, but NCLB has worked in part. Now if we can do three more things with it (student accountability and properly funding it and realistic special education standards) then maybe america will be smart enough to move beyond the polarized two party system.

    January 8, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Voice of Reason

    Even though I could not stand Bush as president, I always respected him as a man.

    Most of us finally got what we've been waiting for...an end to the story. Now let Bush ride off into the sunset and enjoy the remainder of his life.

    Hate is wasted energy.

    January 8, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. Paul C.

    Like the old song goes, "hit the road Jack and don't ya come back no more no more no more no more no more"!!!!!!!!! After the most avaricious presidency we've every seen, what a relief to see the village idiot leave finally. Oh, and to the 27% sheeple with peanuts for brains, I respect the POTUS, but not when he was a phoney to begin with. Cheating in 2000 and lying his butt off for the last 8 years. Most politicians tend to lie but Bush's have led to the death and suffering of so many in this country and in Iraq. Ignore facts just like the German civilians did who ignored what their own government was doing in their name. But now that you've been reduced to a minority party that will remain there for quite sometime, you need to worry more about the country and restoring the GOP to it's once proud roots, before the neocon cowards kicked all the moderates out!

    January 8, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. boered1

    @Janet-NY you said "Even he already knew that unpopular the Iraq war would make his popularity hit the low. Thanks to Bush's efforts, any how, Americans have safely been in a beautiful land since 9.11, 2001."

    I fel the need to counter that, I believe that he saw he was NOT going to win an Afghanistan, where he rightfully attacked, and so used the occasion to launch an attack on a country he believed he could easily defeat and one that he could convince the American people needed attacked. He chose Iraq, he disregarded intelligence that did not support his opinion, he ignored the people on the ground (Hans Blitz(?) and th UN weapons inspectors) and he convinced a large majority of Americans (I was not convinced and said so at the time) and the Congress (Actually as a president convinceing people to see things your way is one of your major jobs so I will never say he failed as President, I will only say his policies were wrong) that invasion was required. I truely believe he thought, when he stood on the deck of the carrier tht the war was over and he felt his reputation was made. Unfortunately reality took over and he ahd to squirm and twist to keep the support he had in order to keep his job and try his best to secure his plkace in history. I imagine he is not pleased with the overall results.


    January 8, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. Proud American

    LOLOLOLOL What a Idiot. 12 more days god help us to make it through

    January 8, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Vicki5

    It almost makes me feel sorry for him, but then I remember about all the trouble he is causing on his way out the door and all he has done in his presidency. Makes my stomach turn to think he could do so much HARM to the American people and not even say, I am sorry.

    January 8, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. M.R. in L.A.

    "What makes it interesting is that it's the same subject of my first policy address as President of the United States, which is education and education reform."

    Yeah – that is interesting Dubya...it almost suggests you made no progress whatsoever.

    January 8, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. LGD

    President Bush set a horrible tone in America...one that said corruption is okay, lying is okay, bugging is okay, killing is okay, deregulation is okay. The American people take their cues from those at the top. I don't know who I am more upset with, President Bush, the Senate or the bulk of the American populace that voted for him. God help us.

    January 8, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Few watched because Obama spoke at the same time? Heck, few would have watched if his only time slot competition was Sponge Bob. There's more reality in the saga of Bikini Bottom than in anything Bush would say.

    January 8, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Michael

    **Janet-NY** Please crawl back under the car than ran you over and quietly go to sleep.

    January 8, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Don in Albuquerque

    Go away, take your whole family with you and never, never, never come back!!!!!!!!!

    January 8, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  13. Angie

    Please!!!! go away. Hey anybody have another pair of shoes?
    Shut up!!! begone!!

    January 8, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. Uncle Fester

    One down, how many to go?

    And to those (Janet) who continue to post about Bush keeping us safe:
    There wasn't a second 9/11? That's obviously true, but it misses the point. First, we must remember that Al Qaeda terrorists are patient, deliberate planners who often wait years between strikes. Second, there was the first 9/11 – and it happened on Bush's watch. Without rehashing the entire 9/11 Commission Report, the historical record is pretty clear by now that Bush did virtually nothing about the repeated warnings to him that those cataclysmic attacks were coming.

    January 8, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. irene

    Give us a break Bush. No Child Left Behind was another one of your failures. You forgot to fund it, but you sure did not forget to fund your rich cronies who stole the election for you. You can't go away fast enough!

    January 8, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. Student of the Past 8 years

    Yeah its almost over, and you failed miserably. Thank god you will not be staying back again for another semester. We learned alot of things during your Presidency and none of it was good. You have taught us lessons on lies, deception, greed, and fear among other things.
    Goodbye and Good Riddens. The Village in Texas can now have their idiot back.

    January 8, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. jr the ..simpleton

    as he leaves office..he turns …and sees..

    ..destruction of two countries!! Iraq and the United States!!!

    ..put that one in your resume…!!!

    January 8, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. nyindependent

    As a teacher, I can't wait for a new chapter in America's history. NCLB is one of many Bush policies that has failed...just as many new it would. Ask almost any teacher, and they will tell you what a joke this so-called policy has been. Unfortunately, I won't hold my breath waiting for any real change to NCLB. This economy will be front and center for at least the first two years of Obama's term.

    January 8, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Kevin B

    Any chief executive that left his company in the shape Mr Bush is leaving the national economy, would and should leave in shame.

    The stark contrast between PE Obama and Mr Bush is clear to see. Mr Bush you where in way over your head and It is truly ashamed the american public has to suffer for your partsian approach to governing the United Sates of America.

    You leave the nation divided and in an economic malaise not seen in our lives, yes this has happened on your watch, so you will be held responsible by history and the majority of hard working americans, no matter what your minnions try to spin.

    OBL clearly stated he wanted to bring the economies of west down, and I dare say your partisian zeolotry and inattention to detail has aided him in his stated goal.

    I will never vote republican again as long as I live

    January 8, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. Vic of New York

    Thank God!

    Now go back to Texas and rot!!

    January 8, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Lo

    I was going to be cruel but i see many other Americans have beat me to it. But i will say that i do not respect G.W.B because it is his fault that a very close family memeber of mine is metally unstable after being in Iraq fighting an unjustice war. I hope Bush can live with all the pain, shame and death he has brought many Americans. GOODBYE ...SO LONG ...PLEASE NEVER RETURN!!!!!!

    January 8, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. edex

    Bush who?.......who is that again?

    January 8, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. LM75

    Free, free at last. We are free of Bush.

    January 8, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  24. bushbgone

    No Child Left Behind is yet another Bush disaster. Is there anything this guy did right? If there was, I must have missed it.

    January 8, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  25. Dean

    Please do not blame it on Bush, blame it on yourself......

    January 8, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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