(Hat tip to Left-Over for inspiring this post through his earlier comments. I would have preferred to read his thoughts on the topic, but after recent statements from the administration, I just can’t hold it in.)
You’ve got to love it when the Bush White House is willing to engage in a pissing match with an ex-President over "relevancy!"
If you want to see how fast an ex-President can become irrelevant, just wait until January of 2009. The average horse race is over in less time than it will take for George W. Bush to become irrelevant, once he is no longer the
What exactly is Bush going to do when he leaves office that will allow him to remain relevant? Certainly not taking on an important role in the Republican party? Hell, he’s still the President, and he’s already radioactive to every GOP candidate for any public office higher than dogcatcher! Once he’s out of office, he’ll be about as welcome at Republican party functions as a leper with the Ebola virus!
I rather doubt that he’ll be hitting the speaking engagement circuit. I don’t think there are a lot of people who are going to care what he has to say, once he no longer has the benefit of a team of presidential speechwriters telling him what hand gestures to make and which syllables to emphasize for dramatic effect!
He certainly won’t be sent out as an ambassador of good will, like his father and President Clinton were for tsunami relief. As reviled as he has made himself, if he were to go out into the real world without an impenetrable gauntlet of security personnel, he’d likely be ripped apart quicker than an animal carcass floating in a school of piranhas.
I’m guessing he won’t be writing any bestselling books about his life and philosophy either (although I suppose there’s still room for the first edition of “Brush Cutting for Dummies!”) Even if he were able to peck out a children’s storybook, like, say, “Barney Rides his Bike,” its audience would not exactly constitute cultural relevance, and the first volume would certainly exhaust his creative capacity, if not his vocabulary.
He has, in the past, mentioned the desire to eventually establish his own “think tank.” Now there’s an idea! I’ll bet there are scores of young scholars who will want to build their professional credentials and analytical reputations - while basking in the glow of George W. Bush’s intellectual accomplishments!
No, George W. Bush will likely fade into irrelevance in record time, giving him at least one measure by which he can claim a mark that past Presidents have failed to match, and that future Presidents can be judged. It will be his Legacy! (Well, that and the death, destruction and shredding of the Constitution!)
Then again, there is one way that he can remain in the public eye - quite visible to his small but loyal group of remaining followers and even successful at raising funds from a broad cross-section of Americans who may not appreciate his record during two terms in the White House. It was my suggestion when he first began talking about creating his own think tank, and it remains my suggestion today as the best way for George W. Bush to remain relevant after he leaves the White House.
He could barnstorm the country, appearing at County Fairs, civic festivals, and church fundraisers – as a part of the George W. Bush Presidential Dunk Tank!
If he keeps at it long enough, he might even raise enough money to pay for as many houses for the poor as Jimmy Carter has built with his own hands!
Also posted at Daily Kos