[[L E G A C Y]] * George W. Bush portrays himself as somebody who doesn’t really care that much about his legacy. When asked by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, in 2004, how history is likely to judge his Iraq war, the prez replied, “History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead.”
Yet Bush is obviously concerned about how the future will view his behavior in the White House. How else to explain that his minions are already busily planning his official presidential library? According to a squib in U.S. News and World Report, Bush is hoping to outdo his predecessors’ libraries principally by making his ... well, bigger. (Leave it to a Texan to super-size everything.) Former Commerce Secretary Don Evans, who’s heading up the Bush library project, says the model is the Hoover Institution at California’s Stanford University. A conservative public policy think tank “devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy--both domestic and foreign--as well as international affairs,” the formally monikered Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace (originally called the Hoover War Library) was founded by Herbert Hoover in 1919, but expanded significantly in the ’50s. (Considering that Hoover was president of the United States during one of its worst economic periods, and Bush’s own fiscal policies and record of job reduction have been derided as Hoover-like, this inspiration may soon have to be downplayed.)
Evans imagines the “Bush Institute” boasting an IMAX theater, a gift shop, and a museum. Supposedly, seven colleges and the city of Arlington, Texas, are competing for the right to host this pricey high-tech facility. No word on whether Baghdad might be an alternative location, depending on how unpopular Bush is by the time he has to relinquish his Oval Office keys.
(Hoover Institution photograph courtesy of Jeremy Ginsberg.)