Don't Be So Happy to See Bush Go, Europe

He's been a useful villain—and things may not be better under Obama or McCain
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2008 5:00 PM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI, centre, U.S. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura pose in the Vatican Gardens during their meeting at the Vatican Friday, June 13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Cristophe Simon, pool)
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(Newser) – President Bush might be touring Europe to yawns and boos, but its citizens and pundits alike will miss their favorite political punching bag when he’s gone, Gerard Baker writes in the Times of London. “They'll miss, first, having a villain in the White House,” Baker explains. “It's a really convenient excuse to avoid doing anything yourself on pressing global concerns.”

Meanwhile, while President Obama (or, to a somewhat lesser extent, McCain) will ride to a magic carpet of global goodwill, Baker doubts he’ll act much differently than second-term Bush. In Iraq, “conditions will either allow a quick US drawdown or they won't." On global warming, the new Prez "will say more congenial things,” but that will put the onus on European leaders to act.