Bush out of sight, but keeping eye on election

November 3, 2008

WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush, who has stayed out of the public eye in the final days before the election to choose his successor, knows his popularity has suffered, but the White House insists he will have no problem looking in the mirror when he returns to Texas.

Bush spent the weekend at Camp David and has no public events on Monday or Tuesday. He last spoke with his preferred successor Republican John McCain on Sept. 25, the day of a White House meeting on the financial bailout.

McCain has actively campaigned to distance himself from the unpopular 43rd U.S. president, rarely appearing with Bush since capturing the Republican presidential nomination in March.

“Everybody would like to be popular. We can all remember that back in high school, everyone really wanted to be popular, and some of us just weren’t,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters on the eve of the election.

“But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have principles and values that you stayed true to. And that’s what this president has done, and that’s what he’s taught a lot of us, including me,” she said.

The Iraq war has been one of the key reasons for Bush’s unpopularity at home and overseas. However, Bush believes he made the right decision to order a U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, Perino said.

“And when he goes home to Texas, President Bush will be able to look in the mirror and know that he was true to his values and true to his principles, and that’s what keeps him going,” she said.

Bush and his wife, Laura, plan to live in Dallas and at the Crawford, Texas, ranch after leaving the White House. Bush plans to create the “Freedom Institute” on the campus of Southern Methodist University which will also host his presidential library.

Bush will watch the election results from the White House, where a small private dinner is planned in the residence with senior aides.

“President Bush remains hopeful that John McCain will pull it out tomorrow night and will win the election,” Perino said. McCain has been trailing Democratic rival Barack Obama in most national opinion polls.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

- Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Bush leaves the Oval Office headed for his Marine One flight to Camp David)

3 comments

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True to his values and true to his principles? This is what it has come to? Bush has allowed his neocon advisors lure him into an unjust war, and now over 4,000 soldiers have died because of it. Let him look into the mirror in texas to see if he has ANY remorse for leading this country into the ditch it is in right now. it will take years to undo his damage. Some values and principles.

Bush couldn’t run anything he was in charge of before he became president. A failed oilman from Texas, he continued the trend throughout his eight years as president to become the worse person in history to hold the office. He SHOULD be ashamed to show his face in public. Good riddance!

Posted by Gary Blackman | Report as abusive

Say whatever you want but how has Bush affected you and your family. Yes, we went to war. It was a decision that had to be made. Nobody wants war but with the information he had and the situation America was in, it was the right decision. Not everything is a huge conspiracy. Whether you agree with the war or not, Bush is NOT the reason for the realestate crash or the state of our currentour economy..you can not see the legacy of current economy. You can not see the true effects of a President administrations/policies until years after he is out of office. This is Clinton’s mess…

Posted by Jamie | Report as abusive

[...] Via Reuters: President George W. Bush, who has stayed out of the public eye in the final days before the election to choose his successor, knows his popularity has suffered, but the White House insists he will have no problem looking in the mirror when he returns to Texas. [...]