It looks like President George W. Bush may have a pretty good birthday today. After all, this time last year the liberal media was terming him as "the worst president in American history."
But a lot has changed since then.
History has proven that the challenges he faced during his presidency were much more daunting that anyone realized. In fact, shortly after the 2008 presidential election, Gallup ranked Bush’s popularity at only 27 percent and Obama’s at 70 percent.
Most of the country thought Obama would prove Bush totally incompetent, but since then a lot has happened, and Obama’s popularity, according to Gallup, has dropped 24 points to only 46 percent.
One of his lead generals has publicly criticized his handling of the war in Afghanistan and even former Bush senior adviser Karl Rove has equated the current administration’s handling of the BP disaster to what happened with Katrina. Some people have even suggested Obama’s handling of the BP disaster is much worse than the way the Bush administration handled Katrina.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Obama is the worst president in American history instead. In fact, I’m not even saying he’s a bad president because this column isn’t about him. What it means is that the challenges George W. Bush faced during his presidency were a lot more challenging than anyone ever realized.
Aside from the polls, statistics, and historical analysis there is a lot to say about President Bush. Although there will always be people who dislike him, even some of his detractors admit that he is a genuine person with a heart of gold.
In 2008 when he was asked how he wanted to be remembered, he said, “I’d like to be a president [known] as somebody who liberated 50 million people achieve peace . . . I would like to be a person remembered as a person who first and foremost did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process.”
Bush was a president who cared deeply about freedom and human dignity for people. He was a man who experienced his own hardships with failure and addiction and empathized with others who endured their own personal pain. He was the kind of man who could forgive, and because of his faith and humility he knew he was far from perfect. He knew that no man can ever be perfect.
Somewhere along the line we seemed to think a president could be perfect – and that he should be.
Perhaps with the hardships President Obama has faced, we now know that’s just not possible.
Everyone make mistakes, especially when they have a hard job, and being president of the United States and the leader of the free world is the toughest job there is.
Happy Birthday, President Bush. We are grateful for everything you did to protect America and the free world, and we will never forget how you lifted our spirits in the darkest times in the wake of 9/11.
Thank you for being our president and standing by us.
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is the National Organizer of Honor Freedom an organization dedicated to correcting the historical record about President Bush. Honor Freedom can also be reached on Facebook, by clicking here.
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Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is an investigative journalist who reported his editors at The Globe tabloid to the FBI in 1999.