George W. Bush came out of his spiderhole and saw his shadow, which means four more years of Great Depression. But did we learn anything from his rare interview with the Dallas Morning News? Sure! We learned lots of stuff about things!
- Wearing a light blue, open-collar shirt, Bush, 66, said repeatedly that he’s “comfortable” with both life and legacy. Among his most pressing concerns was whether his hamstrings were ready for a mountain bike ride later that day.
- “People ask me, ‘What about the economy?’” Bush said. “My answer is, ‘Why don’t you go hire an economist? Or hire five economists and get 15 different opinions?’”
- Bush also made clear that he’s not interested in being idle.
- He’s traveled the globe giving private speeches, some for lucrative pay. He’s played an active role in planning the Bush Center, which includes the policy institute, a museum and the official government library dedicated to his presidency. And he’s poured his time and energy into the George W. Bush Institute.
“One of the real challenges of life is that when you complete a chapter, you don’t atrophy, that you continue to find ways to contribute,” Bush said.
- In his tenure, total government debt in relation to the size of the overall economy, “which is the only accurate measure across the administrations, was close to Ronald Reagan’s and less than 41 and 42,” he said.
Bush said he also matches up well when measuring the annual deficits and government spending against gross domestic product. That’s even as analysts note that both overall federal debt and the annual deficit rose significantly during the Bush years.
- Bush said he’s not interested in “finger pointing” or “self pity.” But he was happy to share history from his view.
Asked what he might have done differently — with the benefit of hindsight — Bush listed the same regrets he mentioned upon leaving the White House: the failure to overhaul Social Security and immigration policy.
But he also noted that his presidency was shaped by the unexpected, such as the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina.
“Much of my presidency was defined by things that you didn’t necessarily want to have happen,” he said.
- “I’m comfortable with what I did,” he said. “I’m comfortable with who I am.”
- Bush, an avid mountain biker, hits the trails often. He likes to play golf and attend Texas Rangers games. He’s also taken up painting, an activity in which he takes “great delight in busting stereotypes.”
“People are surprised,” he said. “Of course, some people are surprised I can even read.”
And there you have it. Nobody could have foreseen that they would use airplanes as weapons, or that a hurricane that was on track to hit New Orleans might in fact hit New Orleans.
Also, frankly, we are okay with Jorge Boosh staving off the Devil’s Workshop of Idle Hands by riding his bike a bunch. He is fairly unlikely to get us into any bullshit wars or break the country that way.
In other George W. Bush news, he became a grandfather thanks to his “twin daughter” (lolwhut FoxNation? No wonder you are always so worried about gay marriage leading to polygamy; you think everybody is their own grandpa!) Jenna Bush Hager, so that is nice. Babies is nice you guys. Let’s leave it at that.