Bush Says Bye, Europe Says Good Riddance

Next president must restore ties with Old World, writes Cohen
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 11:16 AM CDT
U.S. President George W. Bush, left, walks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a government guest house in Meseberg north of Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, June 11, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Earlier visits by George W. Bush to Europe have been greeted by massive protests, but the president's valedictory tour of the Old World barely inspired a shrug. "Bush-bashing has become a bore," writes Roger Cohen in his New York Times column. That doesn't mean he's any better liked, though, and the president's "farewell lap, or limp" stands as a reminder of how bad US-Europe relations have become.

The US and Europe need each other more than ever, but Bush has exhibited a "mean, vindictive, surly, controlling, and impatient" temperament that has imperiled diplomacy. These days, writes Cohen, European leaders who are "tired of being scowled at" have been less than keen to offer Bush anything on his last visit. John McCain or Barack Obama, both "men in full," will have to win Europe back with "a fresh spirit, a fresh temperament." (Read more George W. Bush stories.)