Kathleen Parker recently interviewed President Bush aboard Air Force One. The conversation focused on Bush’s perception of his legacy, and how that perception has influenced his decisions. Excerpts:
Bush . . . says he’s trying to make the next president’s job easier by making the tough decisions now. “That’s why it’s very important for me to remind the American people that we’ve got to support these military commanders, support their decisions. … I think anybody who’s president will understand the strategic consequences of failure in Iraq.”
He also said that anyone who believes we’re not in a war against extremists and radicals will “learn differently when they get in there and hear the intelligence I hear.” . . .
“It’s real important for the president to not be making moves based upon political calendars,” he told me. “I really view this as a first chapter of a long struggle — not the only chapter, not the last chapter, but the first chapter.
“And I’ve told our people, we’re going to write it … so that the next president will have an easier task of dealing with the threats.
Bush’s war performance has not been perfect, but he stands head and shoulders above the rest of the politicians who are cravenly seeking his job. Someday, after all the shrill criticism dies down and historians have a chance to sift through the details of this era, I suspect Bush’s role in history will be viewed in a far more positive light.