Former President George W. Bush, after keeping a mostly low-profile since leaving office, “is about to step into the public arena again” ahead of the release of his memoir, which is scheduled to be published the week after the November midterm elections. Bush pushed back the publication of the memoir, so that it wouldn’t impair the GOP’s chances in the midterm elections. But lately, some Republicans have been looking back on the Bush years with some nostalgia. “I think a lot of people are looking back with a little more — with more fondness on President Bush’s administration,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). And according to one of Bush’s cabinet secretaries and close friends, the memoir will give the public a chance for “serious debate” over whether Bush’s economic policies helped push the country into an economic meltdown:
Former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, a close family friend, said the publicity would give the public a chance to reassess Mr. Bush’s record. “Did we head into a tough period in the last six months in office? Sure,” Mr. Evans said. “Was it a result of policies in his administration? I think there will be serious debate about that. We’ll be debating about it a long time.”
Remember, it was the Bush administration that ignored “remarkably prescient warnings” regarding problems in the housing market, while actively pulling strings out of the regulatory framework and appointing regulators fundamentally disinterested in reining in Wall Street. Financial firms thus ran wild, buildings up a huge amount of systemic risk that eventually toppled the system, putting more than 8 million Americans out of work. And as The Wonk Room explains, even before the meltdown, the Bush economy was incredibly weak, across almost every economic indicator.