His domestic policy frustrated me. Toward the end, he listened to Karl Rove too much, and Dick Cheney too little. But George Walker Bush was a man -- humble, yet dignified.
When Al Gore childishly tried to steal the 2000 election, Bush bit his tongue rather than respond in kind to false accusations by the media. For eight years, he withstood a hostile opposition, ignoring their personal attacks to work with them on domestic policy (Ted Kennedy co-authored No Child Left Behind) and war (a Democratic Senate allowed the approval of the Iraq War). He put others first.
Obama enjoyed 86% approval on Inauguration Day, as Republicans joined the rest of the nation in celebrating the installation of a new president.
Bush barely was above 60% as bitter Democrats held their grudges hard.
I remember Thanksgiving Day 2003 when he flew to Iraq unannounced to spend the holiday with the troops.
I remember him comforting Ashley Faulkner in May 2004 at the Golden Lamb Inn in Cincinnati. She had lost her mom in 9/11, and Mother's Day was nearing.
Her father told the Cincinnati Enquirer:
"I could hear her say, 'I'm OK,' " he said. "That's more emotion than she has shown in 2 1/2 years. Then he said, 'I can see you have a father who loves you very much.' "
"And I said, 'I do, Mr. President, but I miss her mother every day.' It was a special moment."That's why I miss President Bush. We had a president who cared about others. In 2008, the majority of Americans chose to go the opposite direction. Decency is gone. Anger grows among Obama's supporters. Black racism is at an all-time high.
Worse, Obama and the majority of the American people threw away Iraq.
You get what you elect. I elected Bush. Others elected Obama. I can hold my head high 7 years later. Obama's supporters should hang their heads in shame.