What is Bush Going to Do? - The Intrepid

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What is Bush Going to Do?


With only 75 days remaining in his Presidency, George Bush still has one important decision to make. Should he: a) Prepare a speaking tour, b) Start working on his memoirs, or c) Reflect on the brush that needs cutting in Crawford. With a 26% approval rating, the latter might be his only choice.

“I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.” Bush told Robert Draper, author of Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush, in 2007. Just like his father, George Sr., Bush told Draper that he planned to give a lecture tour after leaving the White House. But in 2007, Bush’s approval rating was 10 points higher than today. Are there still people willing to pay to hear George W. Bush speak?

If fictional movies and television have taught us nothing about George W. Bush, it’s that he’s a likeable guy who has the misfortune of being taken advantage of. Many Americans would like to meet the President. Plus, there’s probably a small group of die-hards still willing to actually listen to him muse about the economy and foreign policy. Bush might not make $70,000 a speech like George Bush Sr. or Bill Clinton, but he could probably eek out a comfortable living on a speaking tour. In any event, a Bush speaking tour is more likely than a memoir.

Bill Clinton was offered $15 million in advance to write “My Life.” George W. Bush probably won’t get an offer. At least not right away.

“Certainly the longer he waits, the better,” advises Marji Ross, president of the GOP friendly Regnery Publishing. Like other conservative publishers, Regnery Publishing is more likely to pursue anti-Obama works for the next few years than praises of Bush. Anti-Bush books still have a market, and probably will so for the next few years, but it would be difficult to sell a book written by Bush at any time in the near future.

If Bush were to write something introspective and self-critical, it might sell, but he isn’t known for either of those traits. The foreign markets are another problem. Most of the world hates George W. Bush, and would be unlikely to buy anything penned by the man.

Bush has often drawn parallels between his Presidency and that of Harry S. Truman. Like Bush, Truman also left office with a dismal approval rating, but is now an iconic Presidential figure. It’s difficult to predict whether Bush’s legacy will be positively re imagined in the future.

But for now, Bush has plenty of time to think his Presidency over at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

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