Washington, Jan.7 (ANI): History is unlikely to be kind to outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush, reports Politico.
Experts contacted by the paper-cum-website opine that Bush is departing from the White Houses with probably the lowest approval ratings for any American president, past or present.
Appraisals of presidents sometimes change over time, and sometimes they don't.
According to Politico, Harry Truman was deeply unpopular in his time, but is now revered.
His predecessor James Buchanan let the country slide towards a civil war in the 1860s and is still considered America's worst president.
So how will America see the Bush legacy?
It seems reasonable to assume that his place in history will hinge upon his handling of three catastrophes that all happened on his watch: the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the collapse of America's financial system.
Bush's response to 9/11 includes his decision to invade Iraq, and the list of his failures in the run-up to the invasion and its aftermath will be hard if not impossible for him to overcome entirely in virtually any historical debate.
Bush's only possible way of coming off well in the future is if Iraq emerges as a stable democracy and its neighbors follow suit.
The second catastrophe that is most likely to stain Bush's reputation will be his administration's inept reaction in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Bush was woefully out of touch and utterly incapable of saving New Orleans residents as their city was inundated.
The third catastrophic development that occurred during Bush's tenure is the still-unwritten story of America's financial collapse and economic ordeal - the worst since the Great Depression, according to many economists.
For Bush, there's no escaping the economic crisis; it will remain a centerpiece of any debate about his historical reputation.
Simply put, he is going to shoulder the lion's share of the historical blame for the economy's collapse in 2008.
Then there's a final, stark reality about Bush's historical reputation: This president is likely to have few staunch allies at his side 20, 30, 50 years out.
Historians and fellow conservatives are by and large disillusioned with Bush. They see in him not another paragon of conservative courage in the mold of Ronald Reagan but rather an apostate to the conservative cause.
Conservative intellectuals, pundits and policymakers will be more likely to tar Bush as a traitor to conservative principles than to defend him as a clear-eyed comrade-in-arms and a man of foresight and wisdom. (ANI)