John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Obama should learn from Bush

Posted on November 23, 2008

Obama Should Learn From Bush


            As President-elect Barack Obama puts together his cabinet and grapples with the a failing global economy, he should use a resource that nobody is thinking of:  President Bush.


            No, not that President Bush.  The first one.  The guy who lost to Bill Clinton in 1992.


            Obama should give him some sort of honorary position and keep him engaged in what is going on with the world.


            President George Bush the First, unlike his son, has a vast and deep knowledge of the political history of the globe.  He has incredible judgment, the best rolodex in the world, and very strong relationships in countries that matter to us deeply.


             As a former ambassador to China, Bush understands both the culture and the people.  Over the next two years, no country will be more important to us as we climb out of this financial mess that we currently find ourselves in.


            Bush, whose clear-headed diplomacy helped break up the Soviet Union, also knows Russia well.  He can be very useful in keeping the Russian-American relationship from falling off the tracks.


            Bush obviously understands the Middle East.  He put together the coalition that kicked Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and he knew when to say when and keep Iraq as a useful counterbalance to Iran.


            Bush also has incredibly strong relationships throughout Europe, Asia and South America.  He wasn’t particularly good at domestic politics, but we had no better and more experienced President in the field of international affairs than George Bush the First.


            Bill Clinton might win a popularity contest if it came to vote of the peoples of the world, but among the world’s leaders, George Bush is more respected.


            The first President Bush has largely kept his mouth shut about the performance of his son.  His former colleagues, like Brent Scowcroft, have taken to speaking for him, in expressing his displeasure with some of the policies of the George Bush II.


            But with Barack Obama now our President, he will have to rely on many different voices to help guide him through the most difficult global economy in seven decades.  Obama shouldn’t hesitate to call on George Bush.  He is a true patriot and a great resources for the new President.