DALLAS — President Obama has left little mystery about how he views his predecessor. “The failed policies of George W. Bush” wiped away a budget surplus and “squandered the legacy” of bipartisan foreign policy. Mr. Bush put two wars “on a credit card,” led the country away “from our values” and “crashed the economy."
But Mr. Obama will surely say none of that when he helps dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday. Addressing a crowd of Bush supporters and administration veterans, the 44th president will no doubt extoll the virtues of the 43rd president and praise his years of service to the country.
It has become an awkward ritual of the modern presidency that the current occupier of the Oval Office is called upon to deliver a generous historical judgment of the previous tenant. With the opening of each new presidential library, the members of the world’s most exclusive fraternity put aside partisan differences to honor the shared experience of running the nation in difficult times.