Politico reports that President Bush and his wife have been busy trying to raise $300 million for the controversial presidential library, museum, and policy institute at Southern Methodist University. For example, they have “already begun holding small private dinners to persuade wealthy friends to invest in a monument.” His advisers are now trying to figure out which topics to highlight, and have said that they will likely downplay the Iraq war:
The president’s advisers are still chewing over what topics to emphasize. Iraq is unlikely to be one of them. Advisers say they have made a specific decision to leave that verdict to history and not try to defend it at a time when Iraq could still wind up as either a democracy or a disaster.
One of the original ideas was to emphasize the president’s so-called “freedom agenda” of democracy for the Middle East, and there was even talk of calling it The Freedom Institute.
That name — never finalized –was scrapped, in part because many people immediately associated the name with the Middle East, and the institute will have a much broader focus. And lots of other organizations already use “freedom” in their titles; the Bush planners wanted to avoid being confused with them.
(ThinkProgress has been keeping a close eye on developments with the Bush library, and we will continue to do so. Read our related posts here.)