The White House is sending a two-page memo to Cabinet members “and other high-ranking officials” with official talking points meant to bolster President Bush’s legacy. The memo, obtained by the L.A. Times, is called “Speech Topper on the Bush Record” and looks at Bush’s presidency through distinctly rose-colored glasses:
Titled “Speech Topper on the Bush Record,” the talking points state that Bush “kept the American people safe” after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, lifted the economy after 2001 through tax cuts, curbed AIDS in Africa and maintained “the honor and the dignity of his office.”
The document presents the Bush record as an unalloyed success.
It mentions none of the episodes that detractors say have marred his presidency: the collapse of the housing market and major financial services companies, the flawed intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war, the federal response to Hurricane Katrina or the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
Bush has been working diligently to create a picture of a successful presidency, from a Karl Rove-directed “Bush Legacy Project” to a series of farewell interviews in which Bush has been unable or unwilling to admit a single mistake. The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin writes, “The public has rejected him. The nation is in crisis — and eager for the massive course corrections promised by an Obama presidency. But none of this appears to have penetrated President Bush’s well-defended brainpan.”