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Vienna | 9.1.2009 | 18:43 
God, what's happening in the world! A reality check on the web.

Chris, DaddyD, Zita

The eight years of George W. Bush
  The last eight years are almost over for this current US Administration, but now comes the legacy issue for George W. Bush. And is there a clear answer as to what he will best be remembered for?

OK, here we go with some nice things to say about George W. Bush. After eight years of moaning and groaning, I've searched long and hard to come up with eight pleasanter aspects of the Bush years. It took some doing but this is the best I've come up with:
1: Laura Bush
  She was the epitome of the no-drama First Lady. She waved politely, shook hands cordially and did just about everything anyone could expect of a First Lady (which doesn't exactly include a packed resume) but whatever it entails, I guess she did it well.

2: George W. as Fitness Guru
  He liked to jog, work-out a bit and get on his push-bike. Sometimes things didn't go to plan (like at the G8 Gleneagles Summit when he crashed into a policeman). But having a Commander in Chief who leads by example and who shows that fitness is not necessarily a bad thing may have been good news for a nation that gets ridiculed for its whoppers and lack of cardio push-ups.

3: The Bushims that became regular fodder for the TV hosts
  Jay Leno, Bill Maher & Conan O'Brian will have to listen hard to pick up on the odd faux-pas from President Obama. Bush made things too easy. The cameras would role and within a few seconds, prime-time gold nuggets of Bush going off-message or confusing himself only to be replayed dozens of times on the likes of the Daily Show.
Jon Stewart - the next four years aren't gonna be so easy!

4: George W. liked household pets
  Barney The Dog was a hit until one day last November he too went off-message and bit Reuters Reporter Jon Decker. Barney's fangs leaving their mark on a Washington press pack member were nothing that a small band aid and a short course of anti-biotics couldn't put right.

5: Bush was my Fall Guy
  Kings at medieval courts tended to have someone on standby they could aim at punch at if they were having a bad morning. The fact that George W. looked clueless in a crisis gave me an outlet in which I was free to vent my frustrations about the world. Now, who do I get upset towards? Obama, no way, I'm out-smarted straightaway and he appears to have a command of all the issues. If he can't right the world - then we really are in a mess.

6: With Bush, politics suddenly mattered
  We took notice of how vital the office of US President is and how important it is to make it the right choice. Now Obama is set to get into the oval office, there might be the tendency for us to sit back and consider that our job is done. Maybe we need to release a follow-up on YouTube to encourage America's youth to continue their activism in politics.

7: A touchy-feely kind of guy
  His informality had a kind of bizarre charm. Stepping away from the negotiating table he was happy to lend his fingers towards an unsolicited shoulder rub for Angela Merkel. After a hard day of staring at trade barrier statistics, I think I'd welcome a pair of warm thumbs protruding into my stress points.

8: Bush allowed us to relax in the comfy chair and pontificate
  With this Administration, it was easy to sit back, hit the remote control and let America take the heat for most of the tricky ventures around the world, like sending troops to Afghanistan. With Obama, my guess is that after collective sighs of "but it's not my war" we're going to have to make more of an effort and be more pro-active in sorting out past global mess-ups.
FM4 Reality Check about the G.W. Bush Years
  But don't worry, a US President always leaves a legacy behind - a puff of smoke that spells out clues for us when we get asked by our grandkids in the year 2050 - why did the Maldives suddenly disappear?

Deciding what that legacy is will be the task of our guests on Reality Check, Saturday (10.1) at 12 midday. If you didn't manage to catch the programme, hit the button below for the mp3.

title: Reality Check: Bush Legacy
length: 19:02
MP3 (18.237MB) | WMA
Reality Check as a podcast
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