06 November 2010
George "Dubya' Bush and "That" Hurricane Katrina Photo...
Is this photo going to define the George W. Bush presidency? More to the point, should it?
With the Bush memoirs, Decision Points, soon to hit book stands, it is likely that there will be some serious discussion about what the Bush "The Younger" legacy is going to be. This is particularly so in light of the debacle that unfolded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that devastated the Louisiana coast and New Orleans.
The reality is that Air Force One probably is not the best place to allow yourself to be photographed in doing a flyover of an area that had just been devastated in the manner that New Orleans had.
For some reason, I am thinking that history might be kinder and gentler in hindsight, particularly as the US moves on and away from those years between 2000 ad 2008. It would seem unlikely that the Bush II presidency will ever be considered a great presidency or that Bush "The Younger" will find himself in a list of great US presidents. But, time will smooth over some of the harshest criticisms in much the same way the passage of time has done for President Truman and a few other less than awe-inspiring men who have held the post of "the most powerful man in the world".
Not that any of this really matters on a personal level to me...I am a historian, so it matters to me on a professional level :)