Did any of you catch President Bush's final speech to the nation last night?
I know it's a moot point now, but I think he botched it.
He was too classy.
I know he also wanted to put his years in office in the best light.
But if it were me, I'd have gone for more heat.
I'd have gone out with a bang.
I've interviewed the president six times and I can tell you he is a gentleman, and surprisingly, given all his nasty press, not remotely vindictive.
But for this last address, I'd have told him, try to be.
Not that you need my advice now, Mr. President, but you still have time for another address.
And this time, become Italian.
And I can say that, Mr. President, because I am Italian.
Go ahead and beat yourself over this financial crisis.
But do mention that while the buck stops with you, it passes a lot of people along the way.
People like, I don't know, Congress.
That ignored you five years ago when you wanted to rein in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
I'd apologize for the economy this past year.
But remind folks the seven prior ones were pretty good; and American productivity even today, surprisingly good.
Do point out with all these job losses, a record number of Americans are still working.
And with all these foreclosures on homes, a record percentage of them still own homes.
Let them rip you for no energy policy.
Remind them you tried only weeks after you took office, but Congress shot down that policy.
Let them attack you over entitlement spending.
Remind them you were the first president to try to rein in Social Security spending and your own party punted.
And let them say you spent too much keeping us safe.
Remind them we are because you did.
And let those who smear you on human rights and a war, be reminded of 50 million people free because of that war.
And Democrats who say you ignored Africa as president? Do remind them you've given more to fight disease and AIDS and hunger than any other president combined.
Some will call you a cowboy who didn't get it.
I prefer a cowboy who frankly didn't care whether they did.
Hold your head high that you led us through these dangerous times, where we're now comfortable bitching about our money.
Forgetting little more than seven years ago, we were worried about something more valuable.
Just because you didn't say it, Mr. President, doesn't mean you still can't.
After all, you've still got a few days.
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