A clip of former President George W. Bush is out there promoting his appearance on Oprah's show on November 9, 2010. He was asked about President Obama's performance thus far into Obama's term. President Bush would not comment. He went so far as to say that the job of President is very difficult and that Obama didn't need a former President commenting on his performance. Then Bush went abit further and said he thought it was demeaning of the Presidency for former Presidents to enter the fray. Bush said that he'd have liked to have had that same consideration when he was elected.
There is an unwritten rule on former Presidents that you don't speak out about your successor for at least the first year. It undermines the current President. It's more of a protocol than a directive. There are examples from the past. Rarely, did you hear President George H. W. Bush say anything about President Bill Clinton. One time that I can find, in fact. President Ronald Reagan never said anything about his successors. President George W. Bush has not said anything about President Obama. He refuses to do so even when prodded. Even Gerald Ford refused to comment on his successors except supposedly to Bob Woodward, but required that it never be revealed until after he died.
On a side note, when President Bush took office he didn't say much about the previous administration. Even when he first arrived and found carpeting ripped up, items missing and even the "W's" taken off of all of the computer keyboards in the White House. He just told the staff to fix it or replace it and not talk about it.
Yet, how many times have we heard Obama blame Bush for everything and anything that goes wrong in his administration? It's almost a daily talking point. If Obama was to slip getting out of the Presidential bathtub, he'd blame Bush for leaving soap suds behind on the bottom of the tub.
Now think to Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. They won't even go away, let alone shut their mouths. Bill Clinton was making comments within two weeks following Bush's inaugural and then again after the attacks on September 11, 2001. Although most of what we heard then was that he wished it would have happened on his watch so he could be as popular as Bush was then.
Jimmy Carter has been outspoken since the day he was driven away following the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. Even Ronald Reagan, who had more reason to comment than any President in my lifetime, said nothing about his predecessor, when he was left with double digit unemployment, double digit inflation and double digit interest rates.
President George W. Bush remains Presidential and a class act even when he's no longer President. It's really too bad that the current President doesn't act Presidential even while he's President. Before anyone jumps on me, here's some examples. Calling Republicans "enemies" of hispanics. Appearing on any talk show that will have him. The Daly Show and even with Ryan Seacrest.
He can talk to off the beaten path programs, but he can't speak to Fox News which is only the number one News Organization in the country and has been number one for 9 of their 13 years in business.
Meanwhile, President George W. Bush finished his book and is about to make the rounds promoting his book and still refuses to say anything negative about President Obama. Not only is that class, but it's also got to be a shining example of restraint given how horrible this President is.
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