In this week’s Newsweek Romney gets the cover, a substantial article and an interview which includes this:
How do you think history will judge the presidency of George W. Bush?
I’m not a historian, and we haven’t got enough time and distance to assess that. But I think that it will be seen as successes and accomplishments where he gets good grades, and places where he will not get good grades. And clearly, as I’ve pointed out, with regards to the post-Saddam-collapse management of the Iraq conflict, he will not get good grades there. I think on education and No Child Left Behind, he’ll get a good grade. I think [he’ll get a good grade on] rebuilding the economy, pulling us out of what could have been a very severe recession or worse following 9/11 and the collapse of the Internet bubble. We were already headed down. We were in the normal, cyclical downturn when the president came in. We could have really gone into a tailspin and he was able to help pull us back. And he brought dignity and personal integrity back to the White House after a very unfortunate series of events during the Clinton years.
It seems an odd answer. Of Bush’s accomplishments wouldn’t two superb Supreme Court judges and the absence of any further attack on our homeland since 9-11 be at the top? And No Child Left Behind is a great accomplishment? (As I’ve argued before, ripping it out by the roots would please a lot of conservatives and even more nonideologically motivated parents.)
The biographical article in this issue I think is quite balanced — explaining Romney’s considerable talents and abilities but questioning whether he has an emotional core and the ability to connect to average voters.
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