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. BB

    We have to navigate his treacherous post-presidency too – without all the oil benefits ($$$) that he has gotten.

    December 6, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. If justice exists in America

    This man will recieve, not a penny

    for what we have allowed him to do is our disgrace

    and if he retires in luxury and security


    It will prove that Justice no longer exists in this land

    December 6, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |


    December 6, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Flex

    His legacy is a right-wing, absolutist-christian-bigot, war mongering lunatic who destroyed the world economy!

    December 6, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Old Artillery Man

    Bush…An American tragedy that will be written about for decades.

    December 6, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. No Hillary = No Obama

    Treacherous was his Presidency. Treacherous for the thousands who lost their lives. Treacherous for the loss of income, homes and jobs. Treacherous for the bank and auto industry failures. Treacherous for a staggering deficit. Treacherous for those tortured imprisoned, imprisonment without end. Treacherous for 9/11. Treacherous for deceit, lies, invasion of constituional rights. Yes, we let stand a treacherous President for 8 years and Congress did nothing to stop him. George Bush should be tried for crimes against humanity.

    December 6, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Frances B. Stein

    Personally, I think Bush should go away and never be heard or seen again.

    December 6, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. bill

    The facts speak for themselves. No one wants to read his memoirs, nor does anyone want him to speak on the lecture circuit.

    The man and his administration are responsible for one of the darkest times in the history of our country. He is out, and he is destined for obscurity.

    December 6, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Oh gosh.

    He is not photogenic AT ALL.

    December 6, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Jerry

    I can sum up the Bush Presidentcy in a few words.
    Too little
    Too late
    Go away
    We've been Bush whacked!

    December 6, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. Irony

    US citizenz face a more treacerous road DUE to his legacy. More dangerous workplaces, more environmental damage, economic freefall. Repairing the damage done by this man will take generations. This man will be remembered as the worst president ever.

    December 6, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Bobby


    December 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Dale Moore

    If justice is to be served, President Bush should be tried in a court of law for crimes against the American people. His position as President is not a royal proclaimation of absolute governance. No indiviidual is above the law, not even the President.

    Since many of the nation's newspapers indicate that President Bush will go down in history as the worst President that this nation has ever had, now that says it all.

    December 6, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. ran

    Bush should go to jail.

    December 6, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Bill_ MA

    Republicans, and wannabe republicans voted for him twice. They have nearly destroyed the USA. The values party?...what a crock. Hypocrits values, nothing more. Shame on you.

    December 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. HouseDiva

    I am disgusted that bush is going to walk away with that stupid smirk from the whitehouse with no remorse of the mess he has made.

    If god is a just god; Bush will be writing his memoirs from a prison cell.

    it's an insult that Bush bought a new mansion in Dallas, while working people are having their shacks foreclosed on.

    I hope that I'll NEVER see another Bush in the whitehouse as long as I live and beyond...i have children!!!!!

    December 6, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Garfield

    His Legacy: "The worst President EVER in the history of the USA."

    But you know what...the IQ of this man prevents him from fully appreciating just how much damage he has done to the USA and the world. The many innocent lives of US military and Iraqi citizens who have died defending his lying stance on the war, the total economic turmoil and the unbelievable debt of the USA.

    If there is a depression we can all thank the man with no brains.

    December 6, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Carl Justus

    The library should not have to be very big, does he have book or two. I did not know he could read.

    December 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    What could this article possible mean???
    George W. Bush is already in the easy street! What was he doing recently? He looks like he retired at least a year ago and not even trying to pretend otherwise!

    December 6, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. bob

    The story doesn't match the picture!

    December 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Remember....

    Bush kept you and your families safe from terrorist attacks for the past seven years. Under Obama, you will probably need armored cars to drive your kids to school and flak jackets for you to go to work. Appeasement does not work–it only emboldens terrorists.

    December 6, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |

    DUBYA was alright until he met right wing GOP putzs.

    What a disaster.

    December 6, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Florida Gold

    justice exist in america:
    There is not better way to put it.I would also say that it was never " integrity " in this president

    December 6, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  24. Michael ATL GA

    Just 2 commets!! enuf said. I doubt anyone even bothered to read thru .the article

    December 6, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Ol' Bush won't have much to do. His "library" won't have any truthful or intelligent writing in it so it won't be worth visiting, no one cares what he has to say so his attempt to crack into the lecture curcuit will fail, and no one will want to buy or read any book some ghost writer will write for him. A failure as president and a failure in retirement, too.Totally worthless!

    December 6, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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