The Much “Misunderestimated” President Bids Farewell

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

George W. Bush was asked in a recent interview what had been his biggest mistake in office.  America’s 43rd president said he could not think of any and wished he had been given advance notice of the question.  Yesterday, in his 47th and final press conference as president – somewhat fewer than Franklin Roosevelt, who clocked up 998 – Mr Bush had obviously anticipated the question.  The departing president, who has long made known his dislike of “this self-analysis thing”, cheerfully supplied a long list of mistakes…..”Sometimes I didn’t like the stories you wrote or reported on,” he said.  “Sometimes you misunderestimated me.  But always the relationship has been professional.”  The same could not be said of Washington in general, he added, and particularly the “opiners” and “those who get angry and yell and say bad things”.  These appeared to include Europeans, whom Mr Bush counted among the minority around the world who had lowered their view of the US in the past few years.  “I strongly disagree,” said Mr Bush when asked if America’s moral standing had fallen.  “My view is that most people around the world, they respect America.  And some of them doesn’t like me.  I understand that.  Some of the writers and the, you know, opiners and all that.”…..As for his own future, Mr Bush reminded reporters that he was a “type A personality” who does not like to dawdle.  “You know, I just can’t envision myself with a big straw hat and Hawaiian shirt, sitting on some beach,” he said to laughter.  “Particularly since I quit drinking.”

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