Where’s Dubya? Laying Low and Learning How to Paint

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JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES

George W. Bush at the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 29, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois.

No matter how nostalgic some conservatives might be about the George W. Bush presidency, there’s a reason why he’s largely shied away from the spotlight since the day he left the White House: he’s still very unpopular.  

The former President chose not to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa earlier this year, and he’s refrained from acting as a Mitt Romney surrogate as Bill Clinton has recently for the President’s campaign. So what’s the ex-decider been up to recently? Well, painting.

In a new profile of the Bush family, mainly centering around the presidential aspirations of Dubya’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New York magazine writer Joe Hagan gleans some insight into what’s been occupying George’s W. Bush’s time since he rode back to Texas:

[He] has spent the past few years living as invisibly as possible, working diligently on his golf game at the Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, showing up at a Rangers baseball game, or being spotted eating a steak in one of his favorite restaurants. While the rest of the world judges his years in office, he’s taken up painting, making portraits of dogs and arid Texas landscapes. “I find it stunning that he has the patience to sit and take instruction and paint,” says a former aide.

Backhanded compliment aside, painting does appear like a nice way to pass the time while the 24-hour news cycle eats away at the Obama and Romney campaigns. And speaking of the Republican nominee, the Romney campaign might not be pleased with this bit of additional reporting done by Hagan:

[George W. Bush] gets a regular drip feed of political news from Karl Rove and others—he’s been critical of Romney’s campaign and skeptical of his chances.

Bush “skeptical” of Romney? That seems to be in line with Bush’s remarkably brief elevator-door-closing endorsement that the ex-decider gave to the Republican earlier this year.

MORE: Resurrecting W.: Why George Bush Still Matters in 2012

20 comments
ajain31
ajain31

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/50-reasons-you-despised-george-w-bushs-presidency-reminder-day-his-presidential


50 Reasons We Despised George W. Bush's Presidency: A Reminder on the Day of His Presidential Library Dedication

Today President Obama and all four living ex-presidents attend the dedication of the $500 million George W. Bush Presidential Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Many progressives will remember Bush as a contender for the "worst president ever," saying he more aptly deserves a multi-million-dollar prison cell for a litany of war crimes.

Amazingly, the Bush library seeks to ask visitors "What would you have done?" if you were in this president’s shoes. The ex-president’s defenders are betting that the public will reconsider their judgments after a hefty dose of historical amnesia. Bush has been absent from political debates in recent years, instead making millions in private speeches. Today, his popularity is even with Obama's; both have 47 percent approval rating.

Let’s look at 50 reasons, some large and some small, why W. inspired so much anger.

1. Bush stole the presidency in 2000. People may forget that Republicans in Florida purged more than 50,000 African-American voters before Election Day, and then went to the Supreme Court where the GOP-appointed majority stopped a recount that would have awarded the presidency to Vice-President Al Gore if all votes were counted. National news organizations verified that outcome long after Bush had been sworn in.

2. Bush’s lies started in that race. Bush ran for office claiming he was a “uniter, not a divider.” Even though he received fewer popular votes than Gore, he quickly claimed he had the mandate from the American public to push his right-wing agenda.  

3. Bush covered up his past. He was a party boy, the scion of a powerful political family who got away with being a deserter during the Vietnam War. He was reportedly AWOL for over a year from his assigned unit, the Texas Air National Guard, which other military outfits called the "Champagne Division.”

4. Bush loved the death penalty. As Texas governor from 1995-2000, he signed the most execution orders of any governor in U.S. history—152 people, including the mentally ill and women who were domestic abuse victims. He spared one man’s life, a serial killer.

5. Bush was a corporate shill from Day 1. Bush locked up the GOP nomination by raising more campaign money from corporate boardrooms than anyone at that time. He lunched with CEOs who would jet into Austin to "educate" him about their political wish lists.

watchserv
watchserv like.author.displayName 1 Like

Bush was the most incompetent and ignorant president of my lifetime (68 years). His arrogance and stupidity will linger far beyond his life as the families of those who died and/or those who were were horribly maimed in his selfish, dishonest war in Iraq are left to suffer. Clinton may have been a liar and a crook but his activities pale in comparison to the overall destruction caused by Bush, Cheyney and the rest of their cronies. We're still trying to revive the economy and regain our prestige in the world while Bush paints pictures of dogs. Maybe he'll sell his artwork to his obscenely rich Wall Street and Texas pals. Oh, and don't forget to give one piece to mom and dad. They'll be so proud of little Georgie! Go try to do some good for the poor and needy rather than continue your selfishness.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce like.author.displayName 1 Like

Chance the Gardener lands on his feet again. However, if this were a just world, Bush would be enjoying life in prison.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me like.author.displayName 1 Like

Couldn't agree more.  This man and his cabinet should be in prison not on the links or giving key note speeches.  

Arthur Christopher Schaper
Arthur Christopher Schaper like.author.displayName 1 Like

This guy was a Little Boy who wanted to play with Big Toys.

He wanted to be President because his Daddy was President.

I cannot think of a legacy more crippling to the cause of constitutional rule than:

"compassionate conservatism"

Orwellian double-speak which is neither compassionate -- two world wars unfunded and still depleting this nation's coffers and prestige around the world.

Nor conservative -- exploding government with a larded transportation bill, Medicare entitlements, and No Child Left Behind.

Thank you for the Tax Cuts and For Roberts and Alito.

Other than that -- George W. Bush was Lyndon Johnson with an (R) after his name.

footballexpt
footballexpt like.author.displayName 1 Like

It is amazing that the American public elected this man to the Presidency. But for his father, Dubya would never have graduated from college. His legacy of the unfunded and unnecessary Iraq war, Afghanistan, tax cuts during war time and the failed economy will demonstrate that his 8 years did more to harm this country than any other period of time in our history.

jewilson
jewilson like.author.displayName 1 Like

Bush was an absolute lying moron.  Only another moron would defend him..

James Aldridge
James Aldridge

I would be eating steaks, golfing and living the lap of luxury too.

President Bush was thrust onto the world stage after the events of

Sept. 11, 2011 and made decisions that he thought at the time would

make America safer. Unfortunately, after two wars, a strained economy

during his presidency and massive amounts of debt, we are in a tough

spot. But let's not forget Bush's leadership at a time when our country

needed it. President Obama and Democratic leaders can "armchair

quarterback" what they would have done differently during the Bush

years all day long, but the fact of the matter is none of us truly

knows how we would have responded in Bush's situation as president as

the events unfolded. It is easier to tell someone what they should do

than it is to actually walk in that person's shoes. Today, we can even

speculate on how we would have handled his presidency differently, but

of course we have the benefit of knowing the outcome. I think if a

person serves this country as president for eight years, he deserves to

eat steaks, play golf and paint. It's the hardest job on the planet.

When Obama is out of office in 2012 or 2016, he can spend his time

relaxing as well.Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/...

 

James Aldridge
James Aldridge

I would be eating steaks, golfing and living the lap of luxury too. President Bush was thrust onto the world stage after the events of Sept. 11, 2011 and made decisions that he thought at the time would make America safer. Unfortunately, after two wars, a strained economy during his presidency and massive amounts of debt, we are in a tough spot. But let's not forget Bush's leadership at a time when our country needed it. President Obama and Democratic leaders can "armchair quarterback" what they would have done differently during the Bush years all day long, but the fact of the matter is none of us truly knows how we would have responded in Bush's situation as president as the events unfolded. It is easier to tell someone what they should do than it is to actually walk in that person's shoes. Today, we can even speculate on how we would have handled his presidency differently, but of course we have the benefit of knowing the outcome. I think if a person serves this country as president for eight years, he deserves to eat steaks, play golf and paint. It's the hardest job on the planet. When Obama is out of office in 2012 or 2016, he can spend his time relaxing as well.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

Insane.  Absolutely the worst "president" we've ever had.  The man did more damage to this country then anyone by a long shot.

footballexpt
footballexpt

 Bush started two wars based on false pretenses. He put too much trust in Cheney and his henchmen. Thousands of innocent civilians died. He will always cary that with him.

Ann Parker Crawford
Ann Parker Crawford

I don't think any decisions he made in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 have been brought into question without the comments "well if we had known that then." But he had been President for less than 9 months. It's what he did the other 7 years that some of us consider a nightmare.

Suzie Anthony
Suzie Anthony

Something about him painting dogs seems appropriate...that's all he saw the american people as and now he's painting us..

Rick Recco
Rick Recco like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hitler was a painter too. 

Whistler
Whistler

Are you seriously trying to connect Hitler to GWB?  Talk about hateful and ignorant.  You sir, and I use that as loose as possible, are the problem.

JaiGuru
JaiGuru like.author.displayName 1 Like

He dines on steaks and wastes time painting and golfing at luxury clubs while the country he crashed into the wall struggles to get by.

This is profanity incarnate.

jewilson
jewilson like.author.displayName 1 Like

And now they are trying to con us again with Romney.