Five Leaders Who Liked Bush Better
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 5:12 AM CDT
President George W. Bush, right, shakes hands with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Not all foreign leaders prefer Barack Obama to George W. Bush. Joshua Keating of Foreign Policy lists five heads of state who probably miss Dubya:

  • Silvio Berlusconi. "The conservative Christian from Texas and the lecherous billionaire" were good buddies; Bush hosted the Italian president often at his ranch and declined to call him out on his personal indiscretions.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu. Bush gave Israel almost unconditional support and, according to the PM, tacitly agreed to allow the “natural growth” of existing settlements in the West Bank—something the Obama administration disputes.

  • Álvaro Uribe. Like his father, Bush was a proud drug warrior who provided millions in military aid to Colombia, but the country's president has "lost the unique status he enjoyed under Bush." Obama has questioned Uribe’s methods and alleged human rights abuses.
  • Lech Kaczynski. The Polish president was able to negotiate military aid from Bush in return for hosting missile-defense batteries. Kaczynski assumed Dubya’s successor would do the same—but Obama is more interested in using missile defense as a bargaining chip for better relations with Russia.
  • Hugo Chávez. "Whether he was comparing him to Satan or calling him a donkey," Dubya was a fantastically predictable punching bag for the Venezuelan leader. Obama’s more nuanced approach has left Chávez looking out of touch.