London, Dec 29 (ANI): If reports are to believed, outgoing US President George Bush would find it difficult to raise funds for his proposed 300 million dollar library, which is going to be constructed at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
According to a report in The Times, work on the 300 million dollar library will begin in January 2009, overseen by the architect Robert Stern, dean of the Yale school of architecture.
The identity of donors has been kept secret from Bush, who established a "don't ask, don't tell" policy about their names after The Sunday Times revealed in July that a top Republican donor was touting access to senior administration officials in return for donations of up to 250,000 dollars.
So far, fundraising has been "very modest", according to Dan Bartlett, a former senior White House aide and spokesman for the library.
A major factor going against Bush in raising funds for his proposed library is that his policies have not been popular with the American people over the last eight years. Bush is going to go down as one of the worst presidents in history. A lot of conservatives kept their mouths shut at the time because they didn't want to be crucified like me," said Bruce Bartlett, a former Republican treasury official, who was ostracised for writing a critique of Bush in his book Impostor in 2006.
"I thought Bush would have to go a long way to beat Richard Nixon and Herbert Hoover but, at the last minute, he pushed the ball across the line and brought on the new Great Depression," he added.
President Franklin D Roosevelt was the first to install his own library while he was still in office at the family mansion in Hyde Park, New York, during the Second World War.
"All of them are white elephants to some degree. They are truly bizarre," said Benjamin Hufbauer, art history professor at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. "More than half of them are grave sites, like Lenin's tomb, although they don't display the body," he added.
Presidential libraries are built with private money, but the National Archive pays for the staff who maintain the papers.
"Personally, I think it's inappropriate for the taxpayer to run these temples of worship," said Bartlett. (ANI)