No surprise here that former President George W. Bush’s first public speech since leaving office would be full of grace and favor toward his successor. For someone who received a lot of personal vilification the last couple years of his term, Bush never got bitter. And apparently still isn’t.
Bush told an invitation-only crowd in Calgary, Alberta, he wants President Barack Obama to succeed, that the new president has enough critics and Obama “deserves my silence.” About 2,000 people paid $3,100 a table to hear Bush talk.
Certainly, the contrast between Bush and other former presidents is striking. Jimmy Carter, who arguably was one of the country’s worst presidents, has shown little restraint second-guessing everyone who followed him into the Oval Office. Bill Clinton has been more reserved but occasionally grants an interview in which he barely conceals his lofty opinion of himself or how much better things would be if he were still president.
For all his faults in office, Bush feels no need to pile on his successor. “I love my country a whole lot more than I love politics,” he said. “I think it is essential that (Obama) be helped in office.” Amen.