Now that Michelle Obama is measuring the White House for curtains, we edit writers are seized with a fearful thought. What on earth will we do without the wonderful gaffes and elliptical witticisms of Dubya? Now we can rely on Obama to get the grammar and syntax right, but for entertainment value, Bush is beyond compare.
After being buffeted on a sea of Bushisms, we are really spoilt for anything else. In his own words, “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” We’re trying to figure out that one. Who else but Bush would kill off poor Nelson Mandela when the great leader is alive and kicking in South Africa? Or who could put things so simply that you wish you had thought of the answer? When asked why he could not catch bin Laden, Bush said, “Because he is hiding.” And when a child asked him why his home was called White House, he came up with, “It’s white.” None of that logic and erudition that we will see with Obama.
Not that Bush was indecisive or anything. “My job is a decision-making job, and as a result I make a lot of decisions,” he told us. On the market crisis, Dubya has a pat explanation. “This thaw — took a while to thaw, it’s going to take a while to unthaw.” And with this, we feel so much better. He is candid to a fault.
So as Bush walks into the sunset, we can only echo his words. “I hope you leave here and walk out and say, ‘What did he say’?” We’ll leave it to historians to tell us the answers.