GEORGE W: MISS ME YET?
An alarm must have gone off somewhere, signaling former President George W. Bush to step out of his self-imposed exile and back onto public radar. Indeed, Mr. Bush made a recent appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show”, he offered a public greeting on Veterans Day and expounded on vigorous policy opinions at a massive meeting of oil and gas executives.
“If private sector growth is the goal and Keystone pipeline creates 20,000 new private-sector jobs, build the damn thing,” Mr. Bush told the 4,000-member audience.
“One thing that’s made these activities more inviting for George W. Bush is that his poll numbers are up. There’s a more welcoming audience out there, a more positive reception,” Bruce Buchanan — a presidential historian with the University of Texas at Austin — tells Inside the Beltway.
“The former president is not necessarily signaling he wants to enter the political debate. But I think he may be looking to be in the role of an elder statesman now,” Mr. Buchanan observes. “I think Mr. Bush has noted that his own predecessors have done very well with the elder statesman role. He’s already set up his library, a research arm and a foundation. So he could be ready for handson activities.”