December 6th, 2008
02:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Bush must navigate a treacherous post-presidency

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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.

Watch the unveiling of Bush's presidential portrait in Philadelphia

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.

This is especially true for Bush, historians and political observers say. He not only must oversee the construction of a presidential library and begin writing his memoirs, but he also must grapple with salvaging a legacy mired in the lowest presidential approval ratings in history.

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Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Marty Thau

    The American people are partly to blame for Bush's failed presidency. His Texas record as Governor was dismal but his questionable track record was ignored and he was elected in a highly controversial election that many people believed was rigged. From day one he had no credibility, was fueled by ideology, and refused to acknowledge the needs of 50% of the population. Good riddance Mr. Bush!

    December 6, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. wanda

    God knows who is responsible for all this economy problem.......I believe Bush did what he thought was right when it comes to the war....He did not cause this Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac problem...Where were all these Senators we employeed?...What were they doing all this time?.......That was their job to bring all this problem to the president's attention and help solve it before it became a monstor.............Thank you George W. Bush for keeping me and my family safe for 8 years...............I pray you find great peace in your retirement years...........

    December 6, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |


    December 6, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. O.o

    Marty Thau- you are exactly right. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. And yes we have been 'safe' since 9-11 which shouldn't have ever happened anyway. What about the many years we did not have have a terrorist attack? But I wish him and his family well...I mean we will be paying them for the rest of their lives anyway. ={

    December 7, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  5. maria

    Good riddence. I bet he won't be able to travel abroad on " good will missions, etc". Although our history books will be altered, as is most American history whichi is a lie or altered anyway, to make him appeared not the criminal and as totally incompentent as he is. This country may forget but other countries won't be as forgiving, they have tried to arrest parts of Bush regime for war crimes and here in America we give them life time pensions.

    December 7, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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