[guest post by Dana]
President George W. Bush, continuing to enjoy his post-presidency years with charitable works, played Santa Claus last week at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Natalie Smith, a parent who had lost one of her twin daughters to heart disease and whose remaining daughter was in the hospital, posted:
“Guess who just came and gave Emily a Christmas present dressed in a Santa suit with Secret Service and all?!?!?………. Pres. George Bush”
And speaking of Bush, while some might see Bush’s silence on current events as cowardice or fear of opening himself up to attack, Cass Sustein writes in Bloomberg today of Bush’s “graceful silence” in matters post-presidency:
In the domain of foreign affairs, 2014 has brought heated national debates on an impressive range of subjects: Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Syria, Ebola, immigration policy and, most recently, torture, North Korea and Cuba. One of the more remarkable features of all these discussions has been the consistent grace of President George W. Bush.
This month, Bush offered a rare comment on a public debate. Responding to the Senate’s release of the CIA torture report, he said, “We’re fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf. These are patriots and whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base.” Note that Bush paid tribute to the employees of the CIA — and pointedly declined to take a shot at the Barack Obama administration.
No one doubts that, on some important questions, Bush is in profound disagreement with his successor. Nonetheless, he has maintained silence. In March, he explained, “I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president; I think it’s bad for the presidency for that matter.”
To many Republicans, that crisp explanation is not convincing. But Bush has made an honorable calculation.