What is different is not the degree to which the two Harvard alumni at times seemed confused in the limelight, but that the partisan media were determined to suggest that the similarly accruing lapses were incidental to Obama’s genius, but a window into Bush’s imbecility. Scandal-wise, Bush experienced no Watergate, Iran-Contra, or impeachment. The Scooter Libby media circus — a trial for a crime that was not a crime, and to which someone else had earlier confessed — seems minor in comparison to the secretary of the Treasury’s avoiding his taxes, the HHS director’s being mired in several controversies, the EPA director’s using an alias to hide official communications, and assorted lethal scandals like Fast and Furious and Benghazi, along with the tawdry GSA and Secret Service disclosures.
Bush’s aid to Africa to combat the AIDS epidemic saved millions of lives. He was a strong proponent of increasing gas and oil development, and he made good appointments to the Supreme Court. The work of Justices Roberts and Alito so far is more impressive than that of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan.
Obama’s “millions of green jobs” has led to boondoggles like Solyndra, the cancelation of the Keystone pipeline, and inane administration quips about wishing for American gas prices to match European ones and for skyrocketing rates for coal-produced electricity. In his debates with Mitt Romney, Obama did not refer to his wind- and solar-power subsidies, but instead took credit for increased U.S. fossil-fuel production — although oil and gas companies had found huge new finds on private land despite, rather than because of, the Obama administration.