The campaign to rehabilitate Bush

The Bush defense forces include Fleischer; former press secretary Dana Perino; Bush political czar Karl Rove, who has contracts with Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek; economics guru Tony Fratto; the prolific Peter Wehner, former director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives; and the graceful speechwriter Michael Gerson, who writes an opinion column for The Washington Post…

Participants say the effort is not coordinated or organized but, rather, a natural result of the hunger by bookers and reporters to get the views of aides who approached the status of celebrity through their service in a two-term presidency. The Bush alumni said they make their points subtly — both because the former president does not want to feed an Obama vs. Bush story line and because they know they will never win that battle.

“Communications-wise, this tidal wave is going to have to wash on over everybody,” said Perino, Bush’s last press secretary. “We do what we can, and we believe that history will get it right in the end.”