Yesterday, outgoing White House adviser Karl Rove penned a piece in the National Review devoted to extolling President Bush’s greatness and predicting that “history will provide a more clear-eyed verdict on this president’s leadership than the anger of current critics would suggest.”
The White House liked it so much that it forwarded the piece to its press list, with the e-mail subject: “IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Long View.” An excerpt from Rove’s piece:
President Bush will be viewed as a far-sighted leader who confronted the key test of the 21st century.
He will be judged as a man of moral clarity who put America on wartime footing in the dangerous struggle against radical Islamic terrorism. [...]
President Bush will be seen as a compassionate leader who used America’s power for good. [...]
I have come to understand true leadership leans into the wind. It tackles big challenges with uncertain outcomes rather than taking on simple, sure tasks. It does what is right, regardless of what the latest poll or focus group says. History demands much of America and its leaders and I am confident it will judge the 43rd president as a man more than worthy of the great office the American people twice entrusted to him.
If Rove’s track record is any indication, this latest prediction will also likely turn out to be incorrect. In 2006, roughly a week before the midterm election, Rove predicted “a Republican Senate and Republican House” by claiming sole access to “THE math.” In Nov. 2000, he claimed the “election will not be close” and predicted Bush will “win enough states to get about 50 more Electoral College votes than he needs to win.”
Rove joins Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who in July predicted that Bush’s “ratings among the historians will be greater than his ratings in the polls today,” and Rush Limbaugh, who said in May that historians will “place George Bush in the upper echelon of presidents who had a great vision for America.”
But historians are already debating Bush’s legacy. Rolling Stone recently wrote, “Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.”