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tv   Discussion on the Legacy of President George W. Bush  CSPAN  November 25, 2015 1:53am-3:29am EST

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walker, republican from north carolina and a baptist minister in his first elected office. saturday morning at 10:00 eastern, congresswoman mimi walters. and at 10:30, congressman seth moulton. your best access to congress is on c-span, c-span radio, and hofstra university hosted a conference earlier this year oì% the legacy of george w. bush. one discussion from the gathering featured authors and academics discussing president bush's ideology and the role of vice president dick cheney in shaping the white house agenda. >> thank you for joining us for the closing plenary forum on the
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legacy of george w. bush. it seems hard to believe five years ago when we set the date for the conference and two years of intensive planning with the faculty program committee, with our conference staff, the wonderful culture center, university relations, and everyone at the university and working with all of you that we're coming to closure. i don't think we will reach closure on a legacy decision, but i think that's to be discussed today. but we have certainly, i think, been informed and enlightened by the conversations and the debates at this conference. for me, i have spoken with several people this morning and in attending the plenary previously on what lessons we have learned from this conference, that came out in the conversation. for me, some lessons that have been re-enforced from the
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schol scholary literature the evolving role of the vice president, the changing role of the vice president maybe is a better way to put that, and of course professor warshaw has written about that. i won't say more there, but i think that has been -- that assessment has being magnified and brought home by several narratives throughout the session. of course, peter baker's book makes that point. i think we've seen some very different world views presented at this conference in certain areas, particularly in foreign affairs. and i think that raises the questions will the documents, will the archives, make a difference. is this legacy still unfolding? i think we have seen what's come
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through from the people who worked, from the officials, who worked for president bush from cabinet officials to staff members to political experts to policy advisers. the personal likability of president bush and mrs. bush was very clear in every session. also clear was this was a highly consequential president. they were all days of fire. how we reconcile those two is part of what i hope we'll have a chance to discuss as we look at the unfolding legacy, how the legacy will unfold today. i'm going to give very brief introductions of my colleagues. then i'm also going to say a few words on behalf of james mann, the author of "george w. bush." was supposed to join us today but is very ill.
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we spoke last night even though he didn't have a voice. i said we'll bring you back another time. he insisted on sending me a recent opinion piece that he wrote for the "l.a. times," and a few thoughts that i'm going to present to set the stage for discussion. let me introduce them first in the order in which they're sitting next to me. my co-moderator, it is a great honor to be moderating the session with dr. jeffrey engel. he is an award-winning diplomatic historian. he is the author and editor of numerous books, including works on the gulf war, the fall of the berlin wall, the china diary of george h.w. bush, and numerous other projects. when we started the plan ining r the conference, i communicated with jeff at the center to say we're putting together this
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conference. i hope some representatives from southern methodist will join us. it's great to be moderating this session with you today, jeff. thank you. our three distinguished speakers on the panel have all written extensively in presidential studies. professor shirley ann warshaw is the harold evans chair of eisenhower studies at gettysburg college. she has written ten books on presidential decision making, numerous book chapters and journal articles. and her students, i think -- i'm particularly appreciative of dr. warshaw for bringing her wonderful students today. a round of applause to all of you. thank you for coming and enriching our discussion.
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she is the author of numerous works, including a book that won the richard new stat award from the american political science associations group "managing the president's message, the white house communications operation." she is currently completing a book on presidential transitions. we'll be discussing that today. president graham dodds. the author of a book that i think came out in 2013 i believe and is particularly relevant to our discussion today "take up your pen, unilateral presidential directives in american politics." professor dodds will be discussing the political ideology of president george w. bush today. a statement that jim mann wrote in this opinion piece in the "los angeles times," february 5th, 2015.
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he ended by saying, bush's presidency is likely to be remembered for his lack of caution and restraint. once in the midst of a discussion with his military advisers bush made a telling observation. someone has to be risk adverse in this process and it better be you because i'm not. he took gambles both in foreign policy and with the economy. sometimes they paid off. yet overall the country paid heavily for the risks he took. history isn't likely to revise that judgment. and professor mann discusses and his book discusses the tax cuts, iraq, counterterrorism policies, very short analysis, concise analysis of the issues. you have a perspective there. the legacy has been defined. when i started this discussion, i said i think that the legacy is still unfolding, and if you were in the previous session, a professor brought up the tax cuts as one of the achievements of the administration. i asked about that. some people say that these were
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not -- were actually detrimental to the economy. there were good points about the case of monetary versus fiscal policy and questions about economic choices. it may be too simple to say a single policy is good or bad, but rather what are the consequences of that policy for the other choices that we make. and i think these are some of the issues how we address that single choice and their consequences for other areas of american politics as we look at foreign policy, domestic policy, economic policy, political leadership, and campaigning. and with that range of topics to discuss, let me begin by turning over the floor to professor warshaw. thank you. >> thank you, everyone. it is a joy to be here. dr. bose has put together as everyone knows an absolutely
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magnificent conference. please join me -- and she doesn't get thanked enough -- in thanking dr. bose. [ applause ] >> i was in a wonderful panel. every panel has been wonderful. with ed rollins, who is in the audience. he said you have about 20 or 25 minutes before you lose everybody. tv shows, presidential speeches, whatever. so i'm going to be far less than that, so i hope to completely capture your attention in the 10 or 12 minutes that i have since i'm far less than ed rollins '25 minutes. mina asked our panel to talk about the political ideology of george bush in a way to reframe or rethink everything we've heard over the last three days. graham dobbs is going to talk to
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you about some thoughts he has where he compares was george w. bush a conservative, was george w. bush a neo-conservative. i want to offer a new frame work of that because what i think is, in fact, he does have a very clear ideology. his political ideology is framed within his own personal moral code. the political ideology of george w. bush is extremely conservative when you think of it in terms of pro-business, pro-government political ideology, but that isn't who president george w. bush is. that is who dick cheney is. i have written extensively on both george bush and dick cheney, and you'll hear about this throughout my talk. but what george bush was was a moral pragmatist.
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what george w. bush wanted to do was build a civil and moral society -- and i take those words a civil and moral society from his own constant references to building a moral and civil society, and i quote -- he wrote a 1999 book called "a charge to keep." i quote, the proper role for government is to build a single moral community. remember president george w. bush had his own moral awakening. in 1995, he had some moderate drinking problems. he quit cold turkey. when he quits cold turkey, he becomes a born again christian. that's what actually becomes the governorship in 1994, this born again sense the government should have a moral compass. government, he argued, should welcome the active involvement
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of people who are following a religious imperative. he argued throughout both his terms as governor and during his two terms in the white house for religious organizations to play a key role in partnership in with the federal government. his religiousty drove who he was through his entire political career. he became so involved -- and this is very, very important. he has this religious awakening in '85. in 1988 and 1992 his father is running for president. he asked georget5"9ç w., who ha this religious conversion, to reach out to these religious coalitions in support of george h.w. bush's candidacy. now when karl rove becomes his political mentor in 1994 when he runs for governor, it is that
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very sense i can reach out to these religious conservatives that become a keystone of the bush governorship and then of course of the bush presidency. so what then is the political ideology which is the question this panel was asked to address? it is very simply where government builds a moral society. always remember that is who george bush is. how can government use the compass of religion to build a moral and civil society? he never advocated smaller government. too many times -- and i spent a lot of time with the reagan people. they actually wanted george bush to continue the reagan mantra of smaller government. that's not who george bush was, though. george bush actually saw the federal government as a tool to build social programs that advanced a moral and civil society. i would suggest that bush's ideology is clearly stated in a
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charge to keep in which he ar e argued for a new vision for the proper role of government that would expand government-funded religious programs. his vision was evident in his 1995 gubernatorial speech. remember in 1999 he just won a second term as texas governor. standing on the promenade in austin, the capital in austin, bush called upon texas -- and i vote from this speech -- to become a moral and spiritual center for the nation. his gubernatorial inaugural address repeatedly referred to god and faith in god. i quote again, we must rally the armies of compassion. this is who george bush is. as to be expected of this born again christian, his presidential address when he was inaugurated in 2001 was peppered
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with religious phrases. let me just give you one. when we see that wounded traveler on the road to jerricho, we will not pass to the other side of the road. he argue that americans hold beliefs beyond ourselves. we believe in god. for bush, building a moral and civil society was his political ideology while dick cheney, of course, focused on the pro-business agenda. bush focused on the faith-based agenda. the co-presidency in bush and cheney was a wonderful division of labor that allowed george w. bush to pursue compassionate conservative and the moral compass of government and dick cheney to focus on the pro-business agenda. bush only had really three domestic agendas, as everyone knows. tax cuts, immigration reform, standardized learning.
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he did not support the pro-business agenda, the anti-regulatory agenda that dick cheney moved forward in his administration. he reluctantly accepted it. it was a political necessity. he was somewhat of a conservative, but it was the moral compass that he wanted to pursue. bush's relationship with god guided his faith-based presidency. i'll bet you didn't know he held prayer meetings in the white house most mornings. i bet you didn't know that every cabinet meeting held for eight years began with a prayer. and every cabinet officer was told when they came to that cabinet meeting each one was given a day that they had to have a prayer to begin the cabinet meeting. for bush, the world was sense through the lens of good and evil, right and wrong, focused with evangelical ideology.
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his world was focused around his faith. but in the 2000 iowa presidential debate with other republicans, primary debate, the moderator in iowa asked the various people on the stage, all these republican candidates, who is your favorite philosopher. george bush answered it is jesus christ, but the faith-based presidency -- and i want to mention that quickly because i want to talk about the war. about half way through after they got the faith-based programs were going, they were spending $2.1 billion in year in faith-based programs, including programs in prisons that ensured that if you talked to jesus, you would be cured. abstinence only education. and i can go on and on and on.
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nothing facilitated dick chen cheney's dramatic rise to power more than the role god played in george bush's life. dick cheney, of course, managed the transition. when you manage the transition, he was in charge of hiring everybody in the administration, so the pro-business agenda of george w. bush was enabled by dick cheney. but then came 9/11. while the faith-based presidency was never abandoned, it was overtaken by the war presidency. and this is important because what happens now is actually very interesting. the war presidency became the center of the faith-based presidency. good versus evil, right versus wrong. for george bush, winning the war on terror would be done with religious fervor. if you remember it, i think some
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of panelists talked about this in some of the panels. right after 9/11 happens, what does george bush do? he immediately has a religious service at the national cathedral and then he declares a national day of prayer. relating the terrorists and osama bin laden to evil became part of the faith-based war. he identified the righteous in the war that god said was the united states. he suggested the blessings of liberty, a phrase he often used to describe the war in iraq, were all part of god's plan. david fromm wrote a speech in which he talks about the axis of hatred. another speech writer in the
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office matt scully came in and changed the words from axis of hatred to access -- axis of evil. theology became a large part of not only everything george bush did, but it focused the war in iraq. we can say all we want about why we go into iraq, and i can go on for years on that, but for george bush -- remember you have to separate who george bush was and who dick cheney and donald rumsfeld from who george w. bush was. bush called for a free iraq to protect freedom of religion. bush's christian conservative theology influenced everything about this war. u.s. soldiers painted a mural in baghdad that said, and i quote,
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thank god for the coalition forces and freedom fighters at home and abroad. on the entrance to saddam's palace soon after we took down baghdad u.s. soldiers had a huge sign that said bible studies wednesday at 7:00 p.m. the military was being transformed from a secular military into a faith-based military in line with bush's presidency. so going back to our original question, what was the political ideology of george w. bush, the answer is simple. george w. bush was actually a fiscal conservative who welcomed the contributes of his vice president dick cheney to molding his administration into a strong pro-business administration.
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without cheney's clear vision for how to control the federal bureaucracy, bush would have been far less successful in shifting governmental priorities to the right. but i should also note that bush never articulated the strong anti-regulatory, often very pro-business positions that became the hallmark of his presidencies. that was all dick cheney. when we assess the political ideology of george bush, who is not conservative, not really, not in the ronald reagan way where you want smaller government -- ronald reagan actually argued for smaller government. nothing george bush did argued for smaller government. in fact the federal budget increased more under george w. bush than any other president in history. and bush was not a neo-conservative. there were a lot of
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neo-conservatives in his administration, but he was not one of them. the only real connection that george bush had to ronald reagan was on taxation. bush championed tax reductions. he got them. bush had no problem with an activist government that worked with faith-based groups to build a moral and civil society. what was george bush's political ideology? it is exactly what you saw. a man who sought to improve citizens' lives using the compass of his born again christianity combined with the resources of the federal government. his outlook on life was most visible through the painting in the oval office, "a charge to keep." he names his book "a charge to keep," of course, after the painting, whose message he believed was to serve god in all of one's actions.
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that was the message he wanted to bring to his presidency, and that was his political ideology. he had a charge to keep. he says, faith changes lives and i know because faith has changed mine. he warranted to use the values his faith to change lives as president. his political ideology was simple and straightforward. government can improve lives, especially if faith-based values are woven into governmental action. does this lessen the definition of bush as a conservative? probably. conservatives want to reduce government programs, particular particular particularly social service programs.
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he expanded social service programming and infused many with christian values. it was cheney's view of a government with fewer regulations and fewer mandates that fostered bush's alliance with conservativeconservatives. in summary, bush was a hybrid conservati conser conservati conservative. with that, i'll sit down and let martha talk. thank you. [ applause ] >> good afternoon. this has indeed been a very interesting and good conference. it's generated a lot of discussion. and a lot of the panels, it's discussions of what he right, did he do things correctly, did he not. when you look at the presidential transition, the
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transition into the white house was an excellent transition. only 37 days to do it. and they had it very well organized so that when he came into office, he had his agenda down. first week they discussed education. second week they discussed faith-based. then they went into strengthening the military. then weeks after that budget cuts and tax reform. and so they were able to stick to their agenda and not spend time discussing the election but rather getting right into their agenda, and that's what a good transition in did for them. and a good transition out i think was important for all of us in the quality they had of their handover of power to president obama. transitions matter and that one
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in particular did. on inauguration day, the tradition is that the incoming president comes to the white house at about 10:30 and they have coffee with the outgoing president and vice president and the incoming vice president comes as well. and they sit and have their coffee and then go up to the hill. this inauguration day was a little different because in addition to the meeting they were having in the situation room there was a meeting where all of the intelligence, the top intelligence, and national security people were convened. the incoming and outgoing department heads and agency heads to discuss a threat on inauguration. in the last few days before the inauguration, a threat came up
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and a threat was from al shabaab, that there was going to be some kind of attack. and they had to weigh that at the same time that approximate two presidents were about to go up to the hill. and the benefit of all the work they had done leading up to that time of inauguration was that the incoming and the outgoing secretaries knew one another. they had met during the crisis training exercise in mid january where they went through for a day how things would work with a crisis. and so they had talked to one another and felt comfortable with one another, which was important when here they are discussing something that was going to be crucial in how it should be handled. and in their discussions of what
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some of the alternatives were steve hadley, who was the national security adviser for president bush, said that in that meeting that hillary clinton asked the best question, that she had experienced as a candidate. so she said raise the specter of the secret service coming and pulling president obama off of the podium. she said, should that be done? she said, i don't think so. the optics of that would have been terrible for us in the message that it would have sent. ultimately, the threat fizzled, but it was there in an important way for several days. and i think it shows the importance that the kind of work that you do during a transition
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has. in looking at bush's transition, what were these elements of success? and the first one would be president bush himself, that president bush got involved and he got involved early. in late 2007, he talked to his chief of staff, josh bolton, and told him with two wars they had to have a good transition and he wanted it to be the best transition ever. and so he deputized him to run the operation and come to him with issues that he thought needed his judgment, but he also reserved some things to himself that he wanted to do. he decided that there were three issues that he did not want staff to transition with
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president-elect obama. he wanted to do that himself, and he wanted to tell him how important they were for -- he thought for the whole battle in the war of terror, the war on terrorism. and so he decided that doing it himself would send that message. so the three issues were drones in pakistan and what the status was there of our operation and programs that we had in iran, which could have been a project where we were through our computers attacking the centrifuges, and then the third issue that he wanted to transition himself was the importance of our relationship
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with saudi arabia. and when you look at those three issues, you see that president obama has himself taken all three of those to be very important issues. he wasn't the only one who was going to be working early. so too was his national security advis adviser. steve hadley began working in 2007. and what he wanted to do was put together memoranda who dealt with issues and dealt with countries that would let an incoming administration know how the issues stood or the programs with the country when they came in, what they had done during their time in office, what had happened on the issues, and what the status was at the end. and so there were four things.
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and so they had a template for their four issues and those were passed around not just the national security council staff. steve hadley said everybody on the staff ultimately was involved in them. but they were passed around throughout government, the intelligence community, the defense, and foreign policy. and so they had those ready when they came in as well as a not quite as well developed in the sense of sending it around government contingency plans that dealt with -- i think there were 17 of the contingency plans. in josh bolton's case, he began early in late 2007. president truman had wanted to do the same thing, but
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eisenhower wouldn't go along with it. what bolton wanted was to bring representatives, not the candidates themselves, but bring in representatives of the candidates to discuss issues that he thought were going to be important and ones that if they could solve the issue early on, the person would, indeed, be able to hit the ground running. and so one of the issues was with presidential appointments. he thought presidential appointments, they needed to know how important they were and to get started early. and to do that, they took a very relaxed view of legislation that would allow for early security, national security, checks. and way before they came into office. and they wanted them to be ready for the transition itself, and
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so bolton told the reps of both candidates that what they would do is however many names they wanted to send up, they could do and they wouldn't be involved in it. they would send it right to the fbi for the fbi to do background checks. and they never went through the white house, and that was important so that the candidates didn't think that there were going to be leaks, and there were no leaks. and the obama people took advantage of it and put in the names of 150 to 200 people. at the time when president obama was elected, then they had their operation ready. and so when he had his first national security briefing as a
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president-elect and rahm emanuel was there with him -- and the reason he was was because he had already done his background check. so they did their appointments early, got ahead there, and then another aspect of it was they knew that there were going to be based on their experience a lot of people who were going to send in resumes to be considered for appointments. and they thought the software they had was not -- was not capable of handling the pressure that possibly was going to be put on the incoming president, so what they did is bring in the representatives. and these people came in in the end of june and early july. will ball for mccain.
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they worked on a software package. what did they want in the software package? b bolton told them the white house would pay for it. if they could agree on what they wanted, they would pay. and so they did. and then the memorandum of understanding, which is so important to the beginning of an administrati administration, because you can't send in people to do reviews of the agencies' programs and people, so what need is a memorandum of understanding that sets out what the rules are between the white house and the incoming team. and they came up with one, both sides agreed on it with the white house, and that was signed the saturday after the election. they also had -- clay johnson
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was working as a deputy for management in office of management and budget. he handled the executive branch departments and agencies, what information they would collect and how they would do it, and he brought together the president's management council. then in july sent out a memorandum telling all the departments and agencies what they were to collect and how were they to do it. but none of this would have made any difference if the obama people had not used it, but they did use it and it was very important to them. my timer is going off. i will leave it with that. it was very useful for the obama people, and i think useful for bush's legacy as well. >> thank you.
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[ applause ] >> okay. well, thanks very much. i very much enjoyed being a part of the conference here, and i'm pleased to be able to talk to you about some of my research. so in the paper that i submitted for the conference, i've tried to come to terms with the political ideology of george w. bush, both how best to characterize it and what sense to make of its broader impact and indeed its legacy. i think this is an important question, a central fundamental question, but like much else about mr. bush's eight years, a controversial question. in other words, was he a hard right conservative, a traditional orthodox conservative, a compassionate conservative, a neo-conservative, a
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paleo-conservative, a closet moderate? who knows? but i think it's important to try to figure this out. mr. bush himself said i don't do nuance and these are nuanced questions, but they're important questions. so i try to -- i take a stab at trying to figure it out. i don't sort of try to reinvent the wheel here. rather i take it that the best path is perhaps to survey the scholarly landscape to see what others have had to say about this and that's essentially what i do in my paper. i characterize the views. i seek to render them as plausible and comprehensive as possible, and i do weigh in in terms of what i perceive to be the pros and cons. at the end of the day, i think some are better than others, but on some balance some version of political scientists typology of
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a conservative is pretty correct. i review what they've done. one of the most popular accounts is rosenthal's nominating scores. on this account, bush comes out as the single most conservative president by far, so i think that's a good place to start. it take it as a starting point. i think it does some have issues. i think it perhaps conflates self-serving or strategic political pronouncements with what might be the candidates, the president's heart of hearts, within his mind, but it is highly regarded in my field and i do take it as a good place to
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start. i look at some other similar ones. adam database on ideology, money, politics, and elections. dime, a great acronyacronym, wh bush emerges as more conservative as his father, but less conservative than ronald reagan. bush emerges as a conservative, a more centrist conservative than the relatively populist reagan for what that is worth. i also try to see how one can balance these different accounts. nate silver at 538 did this a few months back in trying to figure out where to place jeb bush. so averaging these three accounts in a very interesting way. here again bush does emerge as a true doctrine conservative, so i think this is a good place to start, but only a place to start. bush said he would not be defined by others. he would define himself. i take him at his word and i
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look at his words, what bush had to say about his own ideology. i start with his defac facto 19 campaign text. i think this is the first place where he really gives an account of what compassionate conservativism is about. you can say it is campaign text. it's not a piece of political philosophy. fair enough, but i think it is a good place to start. his repeated indications of his background in the heaven that is west texas to the more moderate candida connecticut bushes. his promise to enshrine a
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culture of life. his favorite philosopher is jesus christ. he's criticized by john mccain for pandering to the religious right. we know who won the south carolina primary and the rest is history. i look at bush's concern with the gop debates, which is something that come out in his post-presidency writing. don't anger the base. this is a lesson by all accounts he took to heart. there's this well-known joke. it is not serious. it is a joke. this is an impressive crowd, the haves and the have mores. some people call you the elite. i call you my base. there's an element of truth in there perhaps. i look beyond bush's words to his deeds, his appointments, john ashcroft to attorney
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general. his two supreme court justices, 42 justices on courts of appeal, 148 district court justices. and i look at his policies, where the rubber hits the road. bush's policies are very telling. the white house office of faith-based and community initiatives demanding regulatory review standard, two rounds of tax cuts, controversial environmental policies and regulations. most of that, i think, fits pretty squarely with conservatism. but other aspects of his policy agenda and his policy record do not squarely fit with doctrine conservativism. these include things like no child left behind certainly. also his immigration reform proposals, controversial then, still controversial especially for his party today.
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the 2003 aids program. others have talked about that at this conference. certainly the tarp program of '08 in which bush said he was setting aside doctrine conservativism to do what had to be done and medicare expansion. these constitute a number of outliers. this is in social science terms deviations from the mean. i think this is a red flag for those who adopted the label of bush as a doctrine conservative. i quickly review what other politicians, pundits, and journalists have had to say. his democratic opponents tended to see him as a hard right extremists. senator jim jeffers of vermont, and others. bill keller of "the new york times" originally said bush was
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a reagan light, a reagan poser, but later became convinced that bush was the reagan real deal. and i review what conservative media have had to say about the president. frankly, a lot of conservative journals that are not among my own media diet. but bush came in for a lot of conservative criticism. places like cato, forbes. the volume and tone of criticism directed at mr. bush from the right i think is surprising and something to consider. some of those complaints might be dismissed as not being representative, as being narrow, or idiosyncratic. some could say look, these are conservatives, rats fleeing the sinking ship, or trying to prevent the good name of conservative from going down with the bush titanic.
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on balance, i don't think you can dismiss them out of hand. i think they constitute another red flag towards the facile labeling of bush as a doctrine conservative. is there some way of making sense of all this, of coming up with an account that would explain the specipieces that fi dominant conservative labeling and i think there might be. i end up endorsing some form of what is well known in my field an account articulated first on the eve of the clinton presidency in which he describes these four recurring contexts of presidential leadership. you can profitably study presidents across the ages that end up in remarkably situations. he suggests that bush would be labeled an orthodox innovator so the idea is bush is elected, affiliated with the dominant conservative norms that have been more over less in place
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since 1980 bill clinton notwithstanding but the idea that it's grown a little old, a little stale but it's bush's job to innovate within that ov orthodoxy. and on some accounts to entrench it further, electorally, right? to expand beyond what it had already achieved an ento try to get new members of the electorate into the republican column for ages to come. i think there's an awful lot to this. i really do. it's complicated, complex. but i think once you can get past all that it really does confer leverage on a complicated question. i think it explains bush's place in history. it explains the pieces that don't fit. this is bush trying to reach out beyond what had been done to bring in new pieces to the conservative fold. i think that does help explain a lot of these things that don't fit. it also i think helps to explain some of mr. bush's manifold
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political problems. they tend to run up against the increasingly thick institutional milieu of politics. it's harder and harder to make the tweaks, the innovations, the changes because government becomes a thing of itself. it is hard to change. and then there's this idea that for orthodox innovators they are especially susceptible to the vagaries of events. a quote of prime minister mcmillen when asked what might yield the well laid plans, evens, my dear boy, events. they're vulnerable to events and fair to say that mr. bush's presidency had no shortage of these shocks events coming that would disrupt a dominant narrative carefully cultivated and put in place. so again, i think that his account is best way to make sense of mr. bush's ideology.
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i would caution two potential wrinkles to this o. one is other academics written about the account and sought to become orthodox innovators of his typology if you will and several authors said, look, it goes well as far as it goes and seems late in bush's presidency, the second term, it's in retreat such that his place in political context changes. and if you accept that, it helps you to explain even more of his troubled president say ten last couple of years. i think there's a lot to that. i think in 2006, 2007, 2008, perhaps 2008, 2010, it was over. we were on the edge of a new progressive era. i think past 2010 it is hard to really make that argument. i really do. so i'm intrigued by this orthodox innovation typology but
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in 2015 it doesn't seem plausible to me. one other possible wrinkle to consider here. you know, i suggested that on this typology of the orthodox innovator it helps to explain the pieces that don't fit on the sort of facile conservative republican label. there is an alternative possibility and number of people mentioned this in bush's presidency coming from the journalist koki roberts who said the president is copying the strategy out of bill clinton's political playbook. when in doubt, steal your opponent's best ideas. clinton fill nlged welfare reform, robbed education reform and prescription drugs from the democrats. now, you've probably heard something like that before but the idea there is that bush was not being so much a good innovator of conservative orthodoxy. he was an overly flexible clintonian opportunisopportunis.
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that is not a charge the people on the right like to hear and i don't think it's altogether fair. were the pieces in the expanding of conservatism or machiavellian? i'll leave it as an open question and depend on your own ideolo ideology. beyond the condition collusion that a version is the best way to make way of mr. bush, there's a broader question of what its legacy is. the legacy of george w. bush's politic political ideology and, you know, the record since the presidency i think is muddy as has been remarked before. he didn't have a prom innocent role in the '08 or '12 republican conventions and tea party further muddy it is water and too early to say. at the beginning of the last hofstra conference on bill clinton ten years ago was in the
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early -- first day sitting over here behind two older gentlemen and we were sort of reviewing the program and in the paying much attention to what the person on stage was saying but then the person on stage said it's too early. five years out from bill clinton, too early to say the place of history and they said hear, hear. that's right. i'm a sensitive political scientist but i thought at the time, gee, five years out? we can surely say something smart about clinton. in ten year's hindsight, i think i was wrong and they were right. too early now to say what the legacy would be and because the context is not just back ward looking and what happened before bush, it's what happens after. and i mean, this point is itself a facile one but look if we're on the verge of eight years of jeb bush necessarily that will color the way we perceive the legacy. it's eight years of hilary and eight years of chelsea, that
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will change things. so, in this -- if in nothing else i find myself inner suspect agreement with george bush and the first year of office, bush reflected, there's a legacy but i will never see it and in 2006 bush said, you never know what your history's going to be like until long after you're gone. thank you. [ applause ] >> those are three wonderful papers and of course i think most of us are probably sitting here recalling a line from the great strategist of the communist revolution and asked what the long-term consequence of the french revolution replied in the 1970s, it's too soon to tell. but before i begin discussing and posing some questions to our panelists, i do want to take a moment to discuss this conference in general because it's been a truly fascinating
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conference and certainly no easy thing to put together which is so recent as graham mentioned and something that brings up so many issues and con ten jous debates and for many people sensitive nerves that bring up difficult feelings and bitterness of debates and this was a very contentious time in history but as a student myself of the presidency, i come to it from the point of view of diplomacy writ large and when you think back on the difficult or think right now on the difficult diplomatic negotiations that are ongoing in the world today, of course, you have ongoing discussions with north korea, and you have, of course, very, very complex negotiations with iran over their nuclear program, this makes me want to thank anew profession bose because those are nothing compared to the come flex negotiations between presidential administration and the university faculty. so -- thank you for putting this
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altogether. >> it's all politics. >> it is. truly is. so, i'm going to ask a skra ryety of questions about the historical legacy and long-term consequences of the bush administration before opening up to discussion. but so much of their focus was, of course, on ideology, i want to begin with this question which was raised in some of the previous panels and that is that all of you discuss the beginning and end points of the bush administration. and focusing large part upon his great statement of his ideology and a charge to keep from 1999. but i was wondering if you could say some more about the evolution of bush's thinking. is the ideological position of the president the same in 2008 as 2001 when he took office? >> when george bush took office in 2001, as we said earlier, very limited agenda. immigration reform, tax cuts, no
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child left behind and the faith-based presidency. 9/11 changed everything. in essence many of those programs as you know essentially no child left behind was done. immigration reforms, social security reform, none of those got done. graham talked about medicare reform, for instance. what was the other thing you talked about? medicare and what else? >> pieces that don't fit. >> yeah. but particularly, particularly the medicare part d reform. these are actually -- have nothing to do with the conservative ideology. they have completely to do with his use of federal resources to build a moral and civil society. they're essential to who george w. bush was. you can't confuse the political ideology of smaller government and a pro business less regulatory affairs with who george w. bush was. 9/11 changed everything. he became the war president. dick cheney essentially took over the presidency. all -- many of the programs that
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had been thought of, social security reform, immigration reform, they did get tax cuts through, were reduced. at the beginning of the second term as you all know, george bush nearly lost the 2004 election because americans did not support that war. when he won, he realized he needed to reframe some things an within of the things to reframe was his reliance on a department of defense led by donald rumsfeld and paul wolfowitz. he did that. eventually forced rumsfeld and wolfowitz out. cheney with a significantly lesser role in the second term and what you see is a new george bush. and we talked about -- graham talked about the bailout, the t.a.r.p. bailout of 2008. that's what george bush was. what you see is george bush saying the federal government can do good things and same thing of medicare reform and immigration reform. social security reform. to a lesser extent. but the t.a.r.p. bail yut saying
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we can use the resources of the federal government to benefit people in need. whoever that was. turned out to be a lot of corporations. but it was for good. it was not scaling back government. it was not seeking legislation to cut programs. that's not who george bush was. so what you see in the second part of the second term of the bush administration was actually a george bush who gained control of his own presidency. by 2005, really in 2006, he was a far different president than he was in 2001 and i think he would say that. >> yeah. you know, i've been struck at this conference by what i perceive to be a sort of emerging theme, especially from people who worked in the administration 0 of trying to make this claim of a distinction across george bush's eight years and, you know, people are pointed to what is it? after katrina? is it 2004 election? is it, you know, the war in
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iraq? it's unclear exactly what causes this change, but it's remarkable at least to my perception how many people have described some sort of change across the eight years of bush's presidency. as if he were -- as obama would say, he's evolving, right? the views evolving and changing and i think that's striking. i mean, if i have of a conspire toirl slant of mind i would say, gee, talking points of the old bushies of the point of a difference in the second term. but it's really remarkable how many people said that. it is of a piece of his record in texas as a governor. he ran as a reform we are a record, someone to reach across the aisle to make deals in a bipartisan fashion. the critics said, well, texas democrats are a pretty conservative lot. you don't have to reach too far across that aisle but i do perceive a change certainly from his time as governor through to the end of his presidency and, yeah, the t.a.r.p. bailout is
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probably the best end point. exclamation mark because he said in his autobiography, look, i had to set aside ideology. i would adhere to the principle and then the system would collapse. which i think makes a number of points. sort of sug jgests that he had streak of pragmatism that his critics would reluctant to concede it was there and limits of an ideology. so i'll leave there out there, too. >> also, if you look at -- from beginning to end, he was interested in management. when you're looking at both parts of the transition. and at the end, we think of just having one president at a time but they were very careful to involve the obama people because they had run out of juice. out of political juice.
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and so, if they wanted to have an extension of t.a.r.p. and if they wanted to do a bailout, they were going to have to do it. but bush was willing to help as far as he could. so on the sunday after thanksgiving, there was a meeting at the treasury department between the obama team, their financial team -- >> economic team, yeah. >> and in that meeting they discussed the auto bailout and what they brought to it was that they would be willing to name an auto czar if they -- if they could go along with it but they assumed they would take anybody that they wanted, that the obama people wanted to name. so that they could get started on the auto bailout early.
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this was not something in the end that the obama people wanted to do. i think looking back at the roosevelt -- hoover to roosevelt transition, roosevelt didn't want to get involved in hoover's actions. and they decided against it because it would become their problem, as well. but the bush people were willing to make the effort. >> if i can just follow up. actually, that point i think, martha, illustrates well i think an argument implicit in what your paper an your book and what you said today is that this was a very organized -- bush's management style for the transition, 2008, 2009, was indicative of his management style in his presidency and consequential for his legacy. that's what i took from part of what you were saying and shirley anne and graham, i think you disagree on bush's political
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ideology. i mean -- was he an orthodox conservative? was he a hybrid conservative? how did the -- but you're both saying rather than looking at his policies we have to understand his ideology and then over time as how you view that ideology will shape how you view his legacy or how consistent -- does that seem about fair? okay. it's a different approach than what we've been doing on in our individual panels. >> let's focus on the key word you brought up which is a question of legacy and that is, obviously, not too soon to tell because we're here, so what do you perceive to be bush's long-term legacy? let's set the context for everyone. as you know, president bush left office with a remarkably low approval rating and during that time there was a lot of discussion of the revived historical legacy of another man who left the white house with a
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remarkably low approval rating and that's harry truman who left quite unpopular and subsequently thought of as one of the best presidents. consequently some discussion in bush circles long-term history will prove us out. look at truman as an example. i'm curious what the panel thinks of not only the thought that bush's legacy will evolve over time but what do you think ultimately it will land upon? >> i think that bush's legacy will evolve. i think that -- what did he leave? at 19% approval rating. . it's gone up now a little bit. that what time heals all wounds to some extent. that the bush legacy really is the war in iraq. so the question is, and i don't see that changing right now, has
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war in iraq -- have we as a society moved past the war in iraq? i don't think we have. and i think the bush legacy, as much as i talk about the faith-base ed initiatives and t other things that happened in the bush administration, george w. bush, the only thing that people remember about george w. bush is the war in iraq. so, if that -- if the middle east and the kri sis in the middle east remain tied to american actions in 2001 and 2002 and the years further, i don't think that the george bush legacy will be rehabilitated because that's who george w. bush is. the war in iraq. >> yeah. this is obviously the big question. i guess i'd make three points here. a big part of george w. bush's legacy is barack obama.
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had bush's presidency not ended so terribly, i don't think the united states would have ever elected a black liberal as president. so really, i think obama has bush to thank for his job. >> you think we would have elected mccain? >> i'm not sure. not sure. second point i'd make more narrowly is, i think after vietnam the gop really owned the issue of national security. certainly, from the '80s onward. i think bush changed that and that issue no longer helps the gop. and that's a big issue. whenever national security is prominent that no longer feeds into the gop's electoral prospects necessarily. and i mean, look, at the end of the day the last point i would make is more mr. bush there's nowhere to go but up and the standing will increase as the years go by. it could n't get much worse,
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could it? >> i think it's been going up. and the middle east is just such a volatile area and in part it will depend -- his legacy will depend in ways of how do people see what's happening in the middle east as a direct result of actions that we took? but i think that people remember george bush and september 11th and how he handled that and the response in afghanistan. so i think that is going to be a big part of it. but for my piece of this puzzle, legacy, his legacy is on transition. hopefully he's going to be a standard that he set for how you leave office, the kind of information you gather, how long it takes to do it, how broad you cast a net to gather the
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information. and the way that you work with the incoming team because not only does it help the incoming team, but it helps the outgoing president, as well, because of the goodwill it builds and also of the materials he gathered like the 40 memorandum that hadley produced that those become documents about the administration. and what they did and how they saw things as working through their time. so, i think a good legacy -- a good transition out benefits everybody. >> you know, if i can make an observation about your responses, that one of the fascinating things i think about legacy is and why we think of bush as so contentious still six years, seven years after his presidency, i think it's because in large part the answers that one gives to the question of what is bush's long-term legacy
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are interpreted or coded good or bad depending on where you are but the answer doesn't change. so, for example, you know, professor, you mentioned that bush's long-term legacy is the iraq war and by extension i think we could say iraq war and the fight against global terror. >> i didn't say that. >> okay. let me -- my apologies. >> i said -- >> you're ruining my point, though. >> but it's an important distinction. >> well, okay. so even -- the point which i would make is that bush's war on iraq is interpreted in different parts of the country as part of the war on terror to a different -- to different degrees so if one were to be in, let's say, i don't know, new york city, and one were to talk about the war in iraq, people immediately say, largely, that was a mistake. in other places in the country people look at the war in iraq and say it may have not been run
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2@ñ it done for the right reasons and i think that it's fascinating to look at 9/11 or so many of the other issues and say that the reason that people give for liking this president are the same reason that people give for disliking this president but it's the same reason. if you have no comment, i'll accept you believe what i say. [ laughter ] i think it is also important to note this question depends on where you are in the world. if we go to africa, he's an extremely popular president because of what he did for cervical cancer and aids and remarkable of a different legacy throughout the country and i think throughout the world, as well. again, that's something i think will change over time. if i could ask one more question before we throw it to the crowd because one of the names that's come up numerous times in the panels was not george w. bush but jeb bush. and the legacy or the looming
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prospect of another bush presidency. and to that effect, one of the things i've been surprised by attending this conference is how little we have heard of george h.w. bush. i was wondering just since you're all experts on ideologies if you could give us your sense and this was touched on, where george w. bush fits within his ideology ve sa vie his father and brother and then can we say anything about a bush ideology writ large? >> that's a good question. >> you didn't like the last one so -- >> i thought the last one was very good. >> that's a great question. george h.w. bush i thought was one of the most qualified people we have had for the president given his tremendous background in government. i mean, one of the problems of being president is there's no training ground. being in the senate, some what of a training ground. i think actually think being governor of a major state and
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one of the strengths of ronald reagan was a huge benefit because they deal with leg churs. california had a strong executive. i think if you're in one of the panels this morning howard dean was talking about george w. bush was in a state, which essentially the governor has zerod>]ñ power. lieutenant governor actually has more power so he didn't have a strength of running for government. for president. what makes george h.w. bush, let me take that back. george h.w. bush was, as you remember, he runs in 1979 against ronald reagan in the primaries and very bitter primary because he's really the moderate republican. ronald reagan is far -- not far but to the right of george h.w. bush. there's no sense that george h.w. bush is ever really a deep
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conservative. he's a business person who has business interests. remember, his father was a very moderate republican senator from connecticut. connecticut is not known for their deep conservative political roots. certainly, if they have republican -- conservative. but george h.w. bush is never really a conservative republican. but he did have some conservative plrepublicans in h administration, as we particularly saw a fellow named dick cheney who becomes his secretary of defense. george w. bush as i've said really is a hybrid. his political ideology is so deeply invested in his personal born again christianity and he carries interestingly enough some of his dad's moderate republican roots but he lived in texas and when you live in texas
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as karl rove did is moved him to the right of who he had been before that. jeb bush is an interesting guy. jeb bush is i would say had been the most moderate of the three of them. he's married, of course -- his wife is hispanic. makes a big difference in who you are as understanding diverse cultures and understanding whether it be prejudice. he lived in a very different world than either his father or his brother. he has, however, moved to the right to capture as we have talked about, you know, you move to the right to capture iowa, new hampshire, south carolina. i don't know jeb bush's political ideology in the same way you didn't know george w. bush political ideology is. clearly he's more moderate than some of the other candidates running but can we find i think our question is can we find a
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thread between them? i would say that they are moderate conservatives who will move their political ideology as necessary. >> in looking at george h.w. bush and george w. bush, george w. bush learned from his father. this morning, i think maybe was at ed rollins who talked about that. and his press conferences. and the way he handles the relationship with the media. george h.w. bush was very interested in relationships. he was interested in his relationships with people on the hill but with foreign leaders, he would call foreign leaders just to talk to them, to establish a relationship so that when the time came that he needed to talk to them over a
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particular issue that they already had an established relationship. and so, he encouraged people to come to the u.s., foreign leaders, to come to the u.s. and one of the things he developed was he developed joint press conferences with foreign leaders that all of his successors have followed. he did the same with the press. i think he thought of the press as a group that he needed to deal with and have a good relationship with and he often thought of those in personal terms. you think of his relationship with society of "time" magazine that was a very close one. in fact, at the memorial service for society, bush delivered a eulogy which he couldn't finish because he was crying and so his sister read the rest of it.
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and he used to encourage reporters when they came to kennebunkport in the summer to bring their families and then they would -- bush had a party for them. george w. bush did some of that but not in the same way. because he was more distant from them in crawford but i think in -- so h.w. bush, thinking of the press as a group, he needed to satisfy. he would say to marlin fi fitzwater, well, what are they saying? is the pressure building? he understood that the pressure builds in that briefing room and it's hard on a press secretary and so when it built too high he would say, let's do a press conference. when george w. bush came in, he wanted to make news on his terms and you only had a press conference, dealt with the
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press, when you had something specific that you wanted to say. >> we're not having our presenter storm off the stage but she has to leave and let's just give her a big hand. thank you. i know we have run out of time and i wanted to take a couple of audience questions. graham, did you want to respond? >> i would just raise a couple quick points. i mean, you know, one of the ways in which a lot of people try to make sense of george w. bush is to read his psychology of hard wired with the directive don't do what dad did. and you can see this in terms of his writing in his book about his father. he learned the lesson of don't alienate the base or pat buchanan will face you in a primary exam. don't neglect to get bsaddam an from the sun belt, not a moderate new england republican. so i think there's a lot to
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that. in terms of jeb, i guess jeb would have to distinguish him from bush 1 and bush 2 which would require some sort of clintonian try angulation data i won't sketch here. >> i think we have raised so many topics here about ideology, policy, issues, transition, management and then through the course of the conference examining each of these topics in more categories. why don't we open it up and see if we have a questions to address in the time we have? i think we have an mic. ed rollins is right there. >> at the end of this very superb conference, you tapped into something that's very instrumental. you have to remember that george h.w. bush who had all the titles and what have you and wanted to be president even before a lot
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of people thought he was qualified to be president and got to be president because ronald reagan chose him at the last minute at the convention and i was very involved in the first two choices were. paul or jack kemp and ended up being argued out of those positions because you couldn't have two governors of two westerners next to each other and a football player and a movie star. george h.w. bush was a wonderful man and george w. was not his favorite son, oldest son. never viewed as the politician in the family. jeb was the politician who went become and did all the things and both ran for gover nor at the same time and obviously if jeb would have won george w. may not have been the president. george w. examined i think very closely the failure of his father. his father got 37% of the vote and had most largest defection among republicans of any president other than taft in
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1904 when roosevelt ran against him so i think to a certain extent he wasn't his father's favorite political son. he loved his father dearly. i don't think he saw his father as the governing model and i think he thought that ronald reagan basically been dismissed by his father not as significant as he may be. i think he saw reagan as kind of a model and to a certain extent the george h.w. george w. bush relationship developed over time but karl rove and george w. himself realized to be a conservative the party had changed and no longer a northeast republican party. you could not lose 29% of the republicans and be successful. you had to reinforce that base and i think that's what drove a lot of it. and i think you started to touch on it at the end here. i also thought katrina, even though the war was verier very important, katrina was the breaking point. katrina was the point where
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people all of a sudden were saying this is not a competent administration. let an american city drowned. you can't do that and be competent and the complication of brownie and the rest of it was a significant breaking point. that's the only thing i would say. just my own knowledge. >> thank you, ed. >> do you mind if i say something on that? >> i think one thing that's crucial to remember about george w. bush, especially in comparison to his father, and this is something that he has said, that his father has said, his mother has said and not me saying it. i'm just channelling their memories. fu during his formative years in west texas, his father was largely absent because his father was on the road as a salesman and trying to build his career. so consequently he really thinks of himself in many ways as, you know, well, obviously, idolizing his father and living up to his father as any son would but he also thinks of himself as his
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fore's son and how he relates to people. >> do we have a question from a student? can i ask? i see a student right there. yeah. right in the middle there. >> oh no, no. to the student here. sorry. oh. are you both -- okay. go ahead. that's fine. that's fine. we'll take both of those. that's fine. we'll come right back to you. sorry about that. i was pointing -- okay. go ahead. [ inaudible ] >> ms. kumar, you talked a lot about transitions and how important they are. and with that being said, do you
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think there will be a different model of transition planning depending on whether jeb or hilary, you know, win, you know, assuming both are going to be running, obviously, do you think there will be a different transition model based on who wins come 2017 inauguration? and also, do you think that the country depending on who wins will be willing to have -- might -- might, like, what do you think the country's attitude will be if, you know, it turns out to be exactly as expected and which we have another bush or clinton? >> well, i think that -- that obama has a stake in -- in preparing the kind of transition that bush did because i do think it's important for his legacy, as well as for whoever comes in. and i think in hillary clinton's case, i think she'll start
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early. she did in 2008, she had robert altman working on transition issues and she has john podesta is going to be managing the campaign and he certainly knew how to run a transition. he -- one of the ideas in the past was that you can't have large agency review teams. you can't manage, you know, several hundred people. between the policy and agency review teams, there were 517 people. and all worked very smoothly so he knows how to run a transition. and i think that one of the things that's happened in the last few presidencies is that the people who have worked in transitions have built up an institutional memory that's passed along. for democrats, after the carter
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left office harrison wellford who was doing the white house piece gathered materials which were used for mondale, they then were developed more for -- went along with kerry. kerry used that. jim johnson was running that transition effort and jim johnson took the papers that they had developed and gave them to the obama team. and mike leavitt did a very good job in his information, too, will be brought over to whoever the republican candidate is. so i think now they're just simply a lot more information out there. so i think that we won't go through having a president who elect doesn't know much coming into the presidency. they will prepare well no matter
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who they are. but i think both of them as a governor, jeb bush is going to be interested in management. and i think hillary clinton as a department secretary, also, will be interested in management because the stakes in getting off well at the beginning are huge because you have a goodwill both by the people, the people not only want you to succeed. if you look at the difference between what somebody's vote percentage was and then look at their gallup polls as they began office, you can see a 20% rise in some of them so the public wants to give a new president a chance and they're listening and watching. they will tire of a president after a while and not tune in to his state of the union messages and that sort of thing but he has their attention. but the difficulty is that he has the attention of the public
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but he's least able or she is going to be least able to take advantage of it because they haven't governed an they're just coming in. and they're an inexperienced team. so that is the difficulty but i think preparation, everybody recognizes that it's essential. it's not a matter of hue brings or arrogance. it's something that needs to be done. >> thank you, martha. and great question. last question goes to you. make it a good one. >> thank you, all. this is an awesome panel. i would just like the point out or just throw out there speaking as a student and as someone who's like -- when's grown up in a different generation and different -- my view is different than almost everybody who's been on every panel. it's not an insult to everybody. i mean we, the students, the 9/11 generation. we grew up with the tsa and the
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colored days and the people with, you know, sub machine guns in penn station and everything and i would like to get your guys' reaction to the statement that gentlemen of the jury george's legacy will be how we first started the war on terror and how we basically changed the world in the way we live. our world is totally different than it was 20 years ago because of the steps he and his administration took to fight after september 11th and i think that would be his biggest overall legacy and the iraq war lumped in with the afghanistan war and pulumped in and i think that's how he will be remembered. >> to think he's acting in response to the attacks on the united states. it's not as if we just went in to afghanistan. he's responding to attacks so people are going to remember the attacks, as well. >> graham? >> yeah. you know, i have to confess i'm
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not one of these people who keep saying 9/11 changed everything. i mean, rudy giuliani said it so much he almost got elected to higher office. i think it's important, of course, god knows. i think in the broader stretch of time it can be seen as accelerating preexisting trends than utterly introducing things that were new. only time will tell. >> let me pick up on that point because i think it's a key one that one question we have to ask ourself thinking about the legacy of any leader but a president in particular with power and influence around the world is how much their policies actually matter for the long-term trajectory of the nation. you know, they get blamed for everything and credit for everything but how much do they really matter? a way to think about the legacy of bush it strikes me is to remember after the invasion of afghanistan, in particular, there was a renewed excitement for the united states as being at the height of its unipolar
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moment. the united states really might actually achieve an hagenami and there was no power to stand up to the united states. no one was asking that question in 2008. and i don't actually think it was because of the policies of the bush administration pursued that were the cause of that change but rather i think several of the policies of the bush administration pursued revealed that change. that the rest of the world had simply caught up to the united states in many ways and ways that perhaps some people within the united states were at the time not willing to recognize and may still not be. >> i think it's a great question and it makes me think that maybe another five years we could do another george w. bush conference before the obama one because i think it's very difficult to say -- 9/11 defined the george w. bush presidency. but it will not be definitive for the george w. bush presidency in that i think you
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look at lyndon johnson, right, moving into the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act and you look at johnson, the great society and vietnam and how he came to office and the transfer of power and then his skigs not to run for re-election. with the passage of time, i think you see the major tragedy -- major, right, challenges, crises, tragedy and then the series of reactions. we have talked about katrina's come up. economic policy. social security. immigration. medicare. so i think -- so i think the answer is that it will be a large part of the presidency but i think the fuller evaluation and then the transition and everything that mar that's brought up about the orderliness and points to management style and again how many aspects there are to a presidency so i think while this is a source of some debate about whether the legacy is decided now i think that the many parts of the legacy mean
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that we can't -- i would say that there's no single factor that will define the legacy and as we look at ideology and how a president's place in american politics provides opportunities for action, that, too, will shape how we see -- how president bush responded to the challenges of his time so i think with that, we're leaving on a note of continued reflection and gratitude for engaging in the series of discussions over the last three days. to be continued. thank you. hofstra university's forum on the george w. bush presidency also looked at the 43rd president's economic policy. we'll hear from officials who served under president bush in t


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