November 11, 2008
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – No matter how people remember President George W. Bush's time in office, let there be no doubt about how he wants to end it: gracefully.
Never mind that Democrat Barack Obama spent all that time during the presidential campaign deriding Bush for "failed policies," or mocking him for hiding in an "undisclosed location" because he was too unpopular to show up with his Republican Party's own candidate, John McCain. This is transition time. Outgoing presidents support the new guy.
And on that front, Bush is going well beyond the minimum. He has embraced the role of statesman with such gusto that it has been hard to miss.
The result is that Bush's last image at the White House will be one of a magnanimous leader. Whether it will improve his legacy is another matter.
"This has been a very good moment late in his presidency, and, I think it's fair to say, much appreciated by the nation," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University, the home of Bush's planned presidential library.
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