The notion that George W. Bush kept us safe is very hard to understand. If you put in one column “Americans killed by international terrorists before George W. Bush” and in another column “Americans killed by international terrorists after George W. Bush” you see that it’s not even close. And even if you want to say that Bush’s safekeeping responsibilities somehow began on September 12, it’s still the case that far more Americans were killed in the invasion and occupation of Iraq than died on 9/11.
In general, the Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush, and Clinton administration managed to put together a nice 25 year run in which sundry foreign menaces were faced down with very few American lives lost. Post-Bush, this is still a safe country in the scheme of things, but Bush’s blundering sure has managed to endanger a lot of people.