Bush said goodbye to the nation tonight, after eight turbulent (to say the least) years as president. In watching the address, I was struck by how it seems like George W. Bush and I have lived, and continue to live, in totally opposite worlds. For years now, I've always felt like, "I can't believe he's the President," because in my world, he wouldn't be the President.
What we've heard from the White House these past eight years seems to stand in stunningly sharp contrast to what has actually been happening here in America and abroad. Bush says we're safer, and while it's true there hasn't been a terrorist attack here since 9/11, should that really be the barometer for safety? To me, it seems like there is more international turmoil than ever before. That's the world I live in - where everything seems to be falling apart, not the "time to pat myself on the back" land in which George W. Bush seems to reside.
If there's one thing I've learned from President Bush, it's the importance of having a leader who will talk straight with people, who can deliver bad news, who can admit mistakes. In my world, any normal person would be capable of these things. Bush came into office claiming that he, too, was a normal guy, someone you could have a beer with. As he leaves office eight years later, there's nothing normal about anything in which we find ourselves in. For all of our sakes, I hope Obama can level with us and talk to us like adults, maybe even show some regret or acknowledgment that things don't go always go as smoothly as planned. For me, that would be a true mission accomplished.