Open thread: Bush’s farewell address; Update: Video added

posted at 7:30 pm on January 15, 2009 by Allahpundit

8 p.m. ET across the dial. He leaves on a gracious note of Hopenchange:

Obama is “a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land,” Bush said in excerpts of his 8:00 pm (0100 GMT Friday) address, his last public appearance before welcoming his successor to the White House on January 20.

“This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls,” said the outgoing president.

We’ll update with video later.

Update: Here’s the transcript of the prepared remarks. “Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.”

Update: Here’s the clip.



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History will treat him well…People will state historically that they voted for the man who began bringing real peace and freedom to a part of the world that few ever thought possible…many will “remember” that they stood with him and his fight for freedom. People like Noonan will go to her grave thinking she was a great supporter of a great honorable man….
But try to find someone who admitted to voting for Carter, try to find someone who “fought” with Carter, who supported him…that will be the difference in legacy between a great president and mediocre (like Clinton), or a disaster like Carter.
Presidents will someday point to Bush as a stalwart defended or freedom, compassion, and honesty.
Indeed, Obama already has, he has already began conceding that Bush’s ideas were the right ones for America…and the ones he says are not, is just his way of finishing something that a man much greater then he will ever be started but ran out of time.
He will close Gitmo, after we have received and achieved what we needed from those terrorists…Obama will bask in the praise, but we will live in the world President Bush made safer.
He will began to remove troops from Iraq, after President Bush had taken the heat, and accomplished his mission.
He will go after the terrorists, after Bush had laid the groundwork of identifying great commanders and, with some missteps, begin creating a strategy that is effective.
Obama will for a few months, wrap himself in the cloth of glory, that Bush weaved…then we will see what Obama can do, we will see how often he is “present” and how often he is absent…I have a feeling that Obama will walk around with his arrogance masking his indecision, his confidence will mask his confusion…this is going to be a long and interesting 4 years…I wonder if he will even make it?

right2bright on January 16, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Although I suspect I would like him as a person, I am not a particular fan of President Bush, and am not sorry to see his presidency end. What is coming, however, is worse.

DrMagnolias on January 16, 2009 at 9:20 AM

I believe you are looking at January 2017.

sethstorm on January 15, 2009 at 7:39 PM

January 2012

William Amos on January 15, 2009 at 7:43 PM

Or sooner…

Dasher on January 16, 2009 at 9:24 AM

The new administration certainly has its hands full. BO will find out its a tough job regardless of weather you have an R or D in front of your name.

johnnyU on January 16, 2009 at 9:50 AM

I’m still trying to figure out why you people keep thanking the guy who was in office on 9/11 for keeping you “safe.”

benny shakar on January 15, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Because if a Democrat had been in office we might have had multiple 9/11s once the terrorists realized that we were a nation of cowards who didn’t have the b@lls to defend ourselves. Prior responses by Clinton had already given them that impression.

They may now get to show us what they think of our cowardice with the election of the Empty Suit.

katiejane on January 16, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Thank you George Bush for keeping me and my family safe. You did your Constitutional job and for that I am grateful. You are my family’s hero. God speed and enjoy your time away from DC. You deserve a rest. I am missing you already.

BetseyRoss on January 16, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Thank you, Mr. President, for keeping Americans safe at home, for liberating the oppressed and ending genocide in Iraq and Afganistan, for quietly easing the humanitarian suffering in Africa caused by AIDS and malaria, and for keeping our taxes affordable.

Most of all, thank you for the personal sacrifices you made in standing by your decisions and not letting the hysterical rhetoric of your critics distract you from doing the right thing. Every President makes their share of mistakes, and yours I think I can live with.

the_souse on January 16, 2009 at 10:54 AM

I believe we will miss President Bush!!! What a classy speech last night!
I truly believe that he will be known – down the road – as one of our truly GREAT presidents!!! He has never governed by poll (like Clinton did), but by his convictions – and THANK GOD he had those!!!!
EVERY human being makes mistakes – he has admitted to his and then moved on. I hope we get that same style from the new administration, but I somewhat doubt it…

mkosin on January 16, 2009 at 10:57 AM

good riddance. you’ve pretty much destroyed conservatism by distorting what it is…you’ll be rememberd as another HOOVER.

you are just like your father…a disaster.

right4life on January 16, 2009 at 11:02 AM

Aside from buggering the economy, selling Americans out to his Mexican amigos, picking some of the most incompetent fools in American political history as advisers and office-holders, throwing the borders open, making ineffective and expensive (both in terms of cash and American lives) to democratize countries and regions not disposed to become democratic and adding even more layers of useless bureaucracy to our already bloated government, ol’ Dubya was an adequate President.

I believe objective history will record that we have been “kept safe” as much by the inefficiency of terrorists and the actions of our military as by any of his actions.

I also believe, as many here do, that Bush is a kind and decent man (for the most part; his not freeing Ramos and Compean drops him to a low level from which, for me, he will not recover). He was just way out of his depth as President.

What horrifies me is not what Bush has done, but what Osama Obama will do. Bush put some cracks in the foundations of America. Obama will be in there with sledgehammer and crowbar.

MrScribbler on January 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM

good riddance. you’ve pretty much destroyed conservatism by distorting what it is…you’ll be rememberd as another HOOVER.

you are just like your father…a disaster.

right4life on January 16, 2009 at 11:02 AM

How terribly fashionable of you.

TheUnrepentantGeek on January 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM

I also like it that I live in a country – which I chose – and am a citizen of a country, where EVERYONE is entitled to voice their opinion, no matter how wrong they are…

mkosin on January 16, 2009 at 11:49 AM

I truly believe that he will be known – down the road – as one of our truly GREAT presidents!!! He has never governed by poll (like Clinton did), but by his convictions – and THANK GOD he had those!!!!

Right, he never governed by polls and instead asked people to sacrifice with a ‘dont worry, be happy’ attitude when it came to confronting hard challenges. At a time of war, instead of asking everyone to sacrifice, Bush pushed through massive tax cuts for the wealthy (the pre-Wall Street bailout) and did absolutely nothing to finance the war effort and his other big-time spending plans.

As a result, the federal debt doubled under his watch, seriously eroding the financial base of the country and saddling future generations with an almost unimaginable budgetary crisis as social security and Medicare mature. Bush undertook these actions despite strong disagreement from a highly regarded Fortune 500 CEO as Treasury secretary. Instead, Bush decided to take the easy path and follow the economic expertise of his political advisors (such as Rove).

While it’s not fair to fully blame Bush for the current economic crisis, Bush is to blame for the size of both the annual deficit and overall debt that will emerge by the time the government has finished staving off a depression. Another way to look at it- Bush has doubled what the nation must pay to simply cover interest on our debt. That number will exceed 10% of our GNP by the end of 2010. From a standpoint of economic strength, the country is on a very dangerous path.

bayam on January 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

“Nearly 50 years ago, another Republican president said farewell to the nation with a warning about the growing strength of the ties between the military and corporations. Eisenhower said:

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

He warned you about w.

getalife on January 16, 2009 at 12:02 PM

TheUnrepentantGeek on January 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM

looks like the truth hurts. bush is a disaster, for conservatism, and for the country. we are now a socialist state, thanks to Jorge…who never met an illegal he didn’t want to be a drain on this country…

bayam on January 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

very true. the next few years are going to be ugly…and bush is greatly responsible for it…

right4life on January 16, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Mr. Bush,
Thank you for standing steadfast in the face of turmoil, both here and abroad. I can not imagine many presidents that would not have buckled under the pressure. When your aproval ratings were the lowest, you had my vote. God speed Mr. President, I wish you and yours the best. Again. Thank you.

Guest1.1 on January 16, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Valedictus cometatus?
I’d rather listen to Mozart decomposing.
Thanks for almost nothing Dubya. Have fun in Patagonia; I’ll be busy doing the jobs illegal aliens won’t do.

Christine on January 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Goodby President Bush. I wish you and your family the best. I may not have agreed with some of things you did, but you kept this country safe and have taken a stance most presidents did not have the balls to do. History will only care about facts, not our opinions. I pray our President Elect Obama will protect this country as well as you did.

txstar on January 16, 2009 at 12:28 PM

bayam -
Why not tax cuts for the RICH – many of who own the businesses. Their tax cuts will put people to work. I, too, own a small business, but I am in no way rich – have not drawn a salary for myself for over 8 years – because I cannot ask people who work for me to work for free. There are laws against that. Yet, if I wanted to pay myself I would have had to borrow money to do so – and pay taxes and interest on that. How silly is that? I could have taken the easy way out and closed our travel agency after 9/11 – sure – and put 9 people out of work… I have put over $200000 of my husband’s and my money into this agency (including the purchase price) – it is not up to me to do what I want with what belongs to me?
I cannot understand how everyone complains about the RICH getting everything. If a business owner gets a tax cut, most of them stick that money right back into the business, and thus save jobs of those who are so “thankful” that they complain about their bosses all the time. I know there are some who don’t give a whit about their little workers, but the business owners I know – and there are quite a few of various $$ amounts – treat their staff with more respect than they treat themselves!

mkosin on January 16, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Buh-bye Bush.
And no, history will NOT color Bush’s administration in a good light- nor should it.

But I will tell you this- the Democrats will do everything in their power (and they have all the power now) to make sure that conservative movement is destroyed and a liberal/socialist system prevails. This is coming from a Democrat.

What Bush failed miserably to do is to keep the social conservative movement going in this country. The conservatives let the radical religious right have too much attention and the liberal media play havoc with the message and portray them as destructive nuts.

Conservatives have a lot of work ahead of them to repair what Bush has torn down. Good luck with that.

stefystef on January 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM

All of you A-Holes saying nasty things about him and saying “good riddence” need to go F yourselves. Yes i disagree with him on spending and immmigration but this guy helped keep us safe and destroy most of Al Qaeda. Its obvious to anyone with a brain that 9/11 changed him and the path of his presidency, personally I feel he put economic and domestic issues on the back burner in order to fight terror and protect America, and I will gladly take a hit in my pay check for safety. Thanks W.

lavell12 on January 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Thank for keeping us safe, President Bush.

Now, two things, same subject:

1. Free Ramos and Compean NOW!

2. ‘Citizen of the United States’. You were begging congress to give this great gift to money suckling, baby dropping criminals that stomped on our sovereignty and DEMANDED THEIR RIGHTS! If this is such a great thing, why give it away to a bunch of criminals that DON’T DESERVE IT????????

HornetSting on January 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why you people keep thanking the guy who was in office on 9/11 for keeping you “safe.”

benny shakar on January 15, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Maybe because the action happened while he was just in office, but the cause was under the liberals watch…Trade Center, twice bombed, Cole, various embassy’s, our men captive for over a year…all under a liberals watch…it took a conservative to change the mindset, and keep us safe these past several years…that is the answer you idiot.

right2bright on January 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why you people keep thanking the guy who was in office on 9/11 for keeping you “safe.”

benny shakar on January 15, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Did you get a labotomy for Christmas, Bunny shaker?

HornetSting on January 16, 2009 at 12:48 PM

And for all you experts on the economy…ever hear of congress, what is their role in the budget?
Does the President spend the money or congress…we are in this mess because the President was fulfilling his duty, protection our soil…congress should have been doing their duty, protecting our money.

right2bright on January 16, 2009 at 12:50 PM

I feel he put economic and domestic issues on the back burner in order to fight terror and protect America, and I will gladly take a hit in my pay check for safety. Thanks W.

lavell12 on January 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Close, it was blackmail, for the President to get support for protecting the U.S., he had to capitulate on spending.
Imagine, congress holding the President hostage…congress is the culprit, they did not have to propose the budget they did.

right2bright on January 16, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Thank you, Mr. President.

lostinjrz on January 16, 2009 at 1:06 PM

and of course bush is the president who banned the incandescent lightbulb!!!

thank you JORGE for keeping us safe from the dangers of light bulbs….

right4life on January 16, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Is it too late in the thread to post this bit of “Presidential Wisdom”? It’s a keeper.

onlineanalyst on January 16, 2009 at 2:02 PM

But try to find someone who admitted to voting for Carter,

right2bright on January 16, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Rod, sitting in the last row, sheepishly raised his hand and squeaked, “Uh … me. That would be me. I, er … voted for Carter.”

The sticky hot air was sucked out of the packed room as the crowd gasped. Some quickly stood up and swung around as if they’d been kicked in the ass. All craned their necks towards the back looking for the source of this awful admission.

The situation was bad. Really bad.

Rod made it worse.

“Twice.”

Rod on January 16, 2009 at 2:27 PM

Thank you President Bush

DarkCurrent on January 16, 2009 at 4:08 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why you people keep thanking the guy who was in office on 9/11 for keeping you “safe.”

benny shakar on January 15, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Because he turned around and fought back! He said enough is enough! Actually I don’t think you really care about all those who lost their lives on 9/11 nor do you care about their families and their children. Nor do you care about all those Americans that have been murdered by Islamic terrorism for more than 2 decades before 9/11.

It’s like this Benny. Bush understood that 9/11 was one more in a long line of attacks against Americans and unlike you, Bush’s criteria for protecting Americans doesn’t require their toe actually touch the mainland when they are murdered.

Texas Gal on January 16, 2009 at 4:24 PM

I cannot understand how everyone complains about the RICH getting everything. If a business owner gets a tax cut, most of them stick that money right back into the business, and thus save jobs of those who are so “thankful” that they complain about their bosses all the time.
mkosin on January 16, 2009 at 12:34 PM

mkosin-
Cutting taxes for the rich, or anyone else, isn’t a problem for me. But cutting taxes with the end result of running up a massive federal debt is another matter. Yes, it’s great to help small business grow and expand through tax incentives. But that wasn’t my point- I was addressing the federal debt which has real and lont-term consequences. Think about the massive interest payments that go China and other countries- wealth leaving this country, and most of it will never return (currently, interest payments on federal debt amount to over 8% of the fed budget). On the other hand, taxes at least end up back in the US system- whether spent on education, infrastructure, or something else, which fuels more spending and helps business in general.

This is the simple reason why so many economists, like Greenspan, and Fortune 500 execs, like Paul O’neill in Treasury, lougly objected to the deep Bush deep tax cuts that were implemented when the economy was already expanding and didn’t need such a policy.

On a side note, the additional economic stimulus created by lower taxes when the economy was already strong had the end result of not only increasing the national debut, but adding fuel to the fire of the housing and credit bubbles. It turned into a deadly mix of monetary and fiscal policy for sustaining a bubble. You don’t engage in massive deficit spending when the economy is going strong, and we’re currently seeing some of the consequences.

bayam on January 16, 2009 at 4:56 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why you people keep thanking the guy who was in office on 9/11 for keeping you “safe.”

benny shakar on January 15, 2009 at 9:55 PM

every president, from now on, can only have one 9/11 occur on their watch and keep the country safe.

lolwut on January 16, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Benny thinks there’s been an attack on American soil in the last 7 years. Benny’s not very smart.

Jim Treacher on January 16, 2009 at 6:31 PM

God bless you President Bush.

tartan on January 16, 2009 at 8:20 PM

Thank you President Bush for 8 years of devoted service. Like a lot of other posters here at Hot Air, I don’t agree with some of your positions (e.g., amnesty for illegals). However, I know you are a good man and don’t deserve the loony left’s criticism. God bless you and your family.

Callie C. on January 16, 2009 at 8:26 PM

President Bush saved more lives in Africa than the past four Democratic Presidents combined.

Red State State of Mind on January 16, 2009 at 8:26 PM

But try to find someone who admitted to voting for Carter,

right2bright on January 16, 2009 at 9:18 AM
……………………..

“Twice.”

Rod on January 16, 2009 at 2:27 PM

My very first vote for President was in 1976, and I voted for Carter. Then, I grew up.

Red State State of Mind on January 16, 2009 at 8:32 PM

My very first vote for President was in 1976, and I voted for Carter. Then, I grew up.

Red State State of Mind on January 16, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Me too! Amazing what a little life expierence will do for you. Too bad Obama didn’t have any life that taught him anything.

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 16, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Too bad Obama didn’t have any life that taught him anything.

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 16, 2009 at 9:24 PM

It may be paranoia creeping in, but what really worries me is that Obama has learned….

from the disciples of Saul Alinsky, who laid out a blueprint to turn the USA towards Socialism

from the IL Senate leader who mentored him: don’t leave a record that can be analyzed and criticized, just vote Present

from the Chicago Machine that taught him to jettison his allies once they were a liability

Please tell me I’m just being paranoid.

Red State State of Mind on January 16, 2009 at 9:39 PM

Praising Dumbya for “keeping us safe” is like praising a pitcher who gives up 4227 runs in the first inning… then throws a shutout for the rest of the game.

benny shakar on January 16, 2009 at 10:17 PM

then throws a shutout for the rest of the game.

benny shakar on January 16, 2009 at 10:17 PM

So you’re saying Bush had a perfect game for 7 years and 3 months or so? Dude, you’re a bigger Bush fan than I thought.

Haha.

cs89 on January 16, 2009 at 10:21 PM

Please tell me I’m just being paranoid.

Red State State of Mind on January 16, 2009 at 9:39 PM

No you aren’t being paranoid, I am just trying to see the glass half full instead of half empty.

OT: I have some Springsteen records to give away.The douche bag!

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 16, 2009 at 11:13 PM

Right, he never governed by polls and instead asked people to sacrifice with a ‘dont worry, be happy’ attitude when it came to confronting hard challenges. At a time of war, instead of asking everyone to sacrifice, Bush pushed through massive tax cuts for the wealthy (the pre-Wall Street bailout) and did absolutely nothing to finance the war effort and his other big-time spending plans.

Perhaps next time they’ll figure out that you don’t anger what is left of the middle class.

Yes i disagree with him on spending and immmigration but this guy helped keep us safe and destroy most of Al Qaeda.

Easy to say if trade hasn’t been used as a weapon against your area. It isn’t as direct as a bomb, but it packs quite a wide-reaching punch.

sethstorm on January 17, 2009 at 4:19 AM

4227 runs in the first inning
benny shakar on January 16, 2009 at 10:17 PM

As I surmised Benny, your argument is NOT about taking the fight to the enemy after 9/11. Actually, the first inning of this fight wasn’t in Iraq (4227 runs). Interesting though that you didn’t even bother to reference 3000 runs which would have been a reference to 9/11.

Texas Gal on January 17, 2009 at 10:48 AM

One day Americans will finally recognize the great service George W. Bush gave to his country. And those who mock him today as the ‘worst president ever’ will be tomorrow’s fools.

zoyclem on January 17, 2009 at 11:20 AM

4227 runs in the first inning
benny shakar on January 16, 2009 at 10:17 PM
As I surmised Benny, your argument is NOT about taking the fight to the enemy after 9/11. Actually, the first inning of this fight wasn’t in Iraq (4227 runs). Interesting though that you didn’t even bother to reference 3000 runs which would have been a reference to 9/11.

Texas Gal on January 17, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Actually, Benny, The first inning of the first game in this series was when Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy. We’re deep into this World Series now. G W Bush was the relief pitcher sent in because Clinton was too focused on satisfying his libido with a skanky groupie to concentrate on the game.

Red State State of Mind on January 17, 2009 at 8:20 PM

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