Michael Barone: Bush’s Decision Points

Roundup: Talking About History

[Michael Barone is senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner.]

George W. Bush is sitting on a hotel sofa in front of a south-facing window on a sunny November morning. His presidential memoir, Decision Points, is No. 1 on Amazon and is expected to be No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. “I’ve got a very comfortable life,” he says.

Decision Points, as the title suggests, does not purport to be the full story of Bush’s life or his administration. It “provides data points for future historians.”

Contrary to stereotype, Bush admits some serious errors up front. He failed to see the “house of cards” in the financial sector that led to the crisis of September 2008. He should have addressed the immigration issues rather than the Social Security issue when he had political capital from his 2004 reelection victory. He should have stayed in Baton Rouge or returned to Washington rather than fly over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and he should have deployed active-duty troops earlier to keep order....

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