Bush's class Carter could learn something
President George W. Bush was not known for his class. He wore cowboy
boots, slapped people on the back and called others by nicknames he
made up. Yet tomorrow Americans will see how classy W. can be.
Last week Bush taped an episode of "Oprah" that will air tomorrow. In
it, Oprah tries to get Bush to criticize, or at least comment on,
President Obama's performance. Bush refuses.
"I don't think it's good for a former President to be out there
opining on every darned issue," Bush said. "He's got a plenty tough
job. Trust me. And there's gonna be plenty of critics, and he doesn't
need me criticizing him. And I don't think it's good for the
presidency. Other people have a different point of view."
That used to be the accepted view. Former Presidents didn't criticize
sitting ones. Jimmy Carter, however, thought himself above such petty
traditionalism. In his pursuit of relevance and attention, he publicly
thumped Bush early and often. He even wrote an entire column in The
New York Times criticizing Bush on the Iraq War.
President Obama is blundering along like a toddler on a sugar high.
But Bush keeps his counsel. As he should. Criticizing one's successors
diminishes the office of the President, not to mention the one doing