Why Bush Is a Great President

Hindsight will vindicate expanded powers, Iraq war
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 19, 2008 8:58 AM CDT
President George W. Bush departs the White House on his way back to Louisiana to survey damage from Hurricane Gustav, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008, in Washington.    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – George Bush may not be everyone’s favorite leader right now, but history will polish the wartime president’s image, writes Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post. No one knew war was imminent when Bush entered office—but 9/11 changed that. Yet Bush has kept us safe and paved the way for his successor to do the same. Early reviews are predictably negative. Bob Woodward calls Bush "aloof and detached," but "a more favorably inclined biographer might have called it equanimity."

As for the Iraq war, “history has not yet rendered its verdict,” but it’s likely to grow more favorable if, as is likely, the move turned an enemy into an ally in the war on terror. As the history books are written, Bush may well follow in Harry Truman’s footsteps: Both expanded the president’s powers and fought unpopular wars. Truman left office “disparaged,” but “history has revised that verdict,” Krauthammer writes.