As George W.Bush prepares to leave office, journalists are starting to reflect on the legacy he will leave.

The 43rd occupant of the Oval Office has been doing his best to shape that legacy, giving a number of media interviews, including his final press conference this afternoon, where admitted that mistakes had been made during his tumultuous 8 year stint in power.

The Washington Post
has just created a page on the legacy Bush will leave behind, with archive material on the major events of his presidency, as well as excerpts from the work of Bob Woodward, who has written a number of books on his presidency.

Frank Rich, writing in yesterday’s Observer, looks likely to set the tone for much of the media comment on Bush’s term in office that will undoubtedly follow, and unsurprisingly his assessment wasn’t very positive:

“You start to pity him until you remember how vast the wreckage is. It stretches from the Middle East to Wall Street to Main Street and even into the heavens, which have been a safe haven for toxins under his passive stewardship. The discrepancy between the grandeur of the failure and the stature of the man is a puzzlement. We are still trying to compute it.”

Bush said today that he will cut a quiet figure once Barack Obama is inaugurated on 20th January, but the world is likely to feel the impact of his decisions whilst in office a long time after he has returned to his Texas ranch.

The US remains engaged in two wars, peace in the Middle East looks elusive as ever, and Bush's response to the growing financial crisis has so far proved inadequate.

A lot of expectation rests on the shoulders of his successor, Barack Obama, to sort out the mess Bush leaves behind.

Comments

In the retrospective of Bush's rhetoric made by Rory Bremner, who doesn't just go over the gaffs as you might expect from an impressionist, one of the commentators says he thinks that Bush was the best rhetorician the USA's had whilst at the same time being the worst president ever, too.

I don't know about that, but he certainly could deliver a speech when it came to war, terror, the war on terror... and baseball (apparently).

The dog days of Dubya