Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Miss Him Already

I recorded President Bush's last State of the Union address last night. I transferred it to a DVD, labeled it "George W. Bush, POTUS, State of the Union, January 28, 2008, " and put it in a safe place. This will provide comfort to me in the event that a President Obama or a President Clinton is giving the State of the Union in two years.

I have liked George W. Bush since I first encountered, observed and heard him. He was my candidate since 1999, long before he won South Carolina in 2000. And his seven years of presidency has not changed my opinion.

While, I am familiar with his shortcomings - his accomplishments and his character have more than outweighed all of them.

He recognized the true nature of the threat of Islamic Terrorism, while others were trying to justify the 9/11 attacks as isolated events. While this threat has been with us since Jimmy Carter watched the hostile takeover of Iran and the year-long hostage crisis, the attempt to kill fifty thousand people was taking terrorism to a new level - and the president needed to respond.

President Bush responded with changes to our government agencies and their rules of engagement, laws regarding financial transactions and, most importantly, he sent the military after the two most dangerous exporters of terror...Afghanistan and Iraq. There is a fledgling democracy in both of these countries today.

Since 9/11/2001, the country has not been attacked once...despite the regular cadence of terrorist attacks under the presidency of Bill Clinton.

President Bush presided over an economy which has been a job growth engine, outpacing by orders of magnitude anything in the European Union. The stock market rise and the economic growth numbers of the past seven years would be the envy of any president. Had he been a Democrat, the New York Times would have gushed each time the quarterly numbers were reported.

He has appointed conservative justices.

He has nixed human cloning and federal research on human embryos.

He has been a moral leader and, despite a constant barrage of mind-numbing reports, has been the most honest president of the last hundred years.

He has appointed minorities and females to the highest levels of his cabinet including the first black secretary of state and the first black female secretary of state.

He has pushed education funding and reform despite steady criticism from his own party

He was not perfect, no one ever is. He held fast to his beliefs and that alone distinguishes him from 98 out of 100 members of our government. He has treated his friends and his enemies with respect.

While not a good politician nor an eloquent speaker, he can boast that he has never lost an election. In fact, he won four and three of them very tough. He beat a popular Ann Richards, incumbent V.P. Al Gore and the anti-war John Kerry...and he started all of three of these by trailing in the polls by double digits.

Even Dan Rather has to respect that.

What is most appealing about President Bush is that he has never let any of the negative coverage of him and his presidency get him down. He has not changed. He remains upbeat, optimistic and as patriotic as ever. His legacy is intact and he will be remembered as a decisive and moral leader. He will be missed. I miss him already.

Submitted by D.B. Jackson

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