What’s the difference between Obama and Bush?

March 1, 2009

If you want to know if there’s a difference between working for President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, ask the man who’s worked for both: Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Gates faced that question on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.


Gates, a former CIA official, first responded without really responding. “That sounds like the subject of a good book,” Gates said, and declined to say whether he plans to write one.

When pressed, the Pentagon chief said, “I think that probably President Obama is somewhat more analytical and we makes sure he hears from everybody in the room on an issue and if they don’t speak up, he calls on them.”

And how does this differ from Bush, who had a reputation for delegating details and avoiding policy homework?

“President Bush was interested in hearing different points of view but didn’t go out of his way to make sure everybody spoke if they hadn’t spoken up.”

Asked how long he might stay as defense secretary, Gates replied, “Well, I think that’s probably up to the president.” He seemed to tip his hand ever so slightly when asked if he would stay until the end of Obama’s current term.

“That would be a challenge,” the guarded Gates said.


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Okay so they have different management styles. That isn’t big news. So, if anyone wants to criticize Bush because of this, go ahead. Obama has shown in a very short time that calling on everyone in the room doesn’t equate to making good decisions.

We are in for a rough ride. He isn’t making anything better.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

Whats the diffrence between Bush and Obama?

One is for Big Government, the other is for Bigger Government. You be the judge on who is who.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

So far BlowBama has broken all his promises and Bush never broke any.

Posted by Average Joe | Report as abusive

There are three important difference already emerging between the two.

Mr. Obama is not surrounded by yes men. Mr. Bush was.

Secondly, Mr. Obama appears to listens to his advisers. Mr. Bush never did.

Thirdly, Mr. Bush had no plans of any sort. All his “policies” were knee jerk reactions. Mr. Obama gives the impression of having thought about things, and having plans.

Mr. Obama is a talented manager, who could successfully run any company in the world, whereas Mr. Bush would probably bankrupt the corner grocery store.

Posted by Average American | Report as abusive

Say what you will about Bush’s speech capabilities or lack of, but at least he didn’t say something while he turned around and in our face did another.

“Obama’s targets for cutting the budget deficit remain in reach” out of one side of his mouth, while his budget plan TRIPLES the deficit.

This guy is an out and out liar and he thinks we’re all so stupid we won’t pick up on it.

I think this guy is beyond scary. And all I can hope is that we have a country left when he steps down out of office.

Posted by Jan | Report as abusive

bush never blamed clinton for anything, even as many said he had 911 dumped in his lap because of clinton,s lack of retaliation.every chance obama gets he makes sure the blame for everything is someone else,can he keep this up for four years?he can not vote just”present”now.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Obama will end up doing more in 100 days than Bush did in 8 years.

Posted by Liberal Larry | Report as abusive

The different begin Bush and Obama is Bush was a dreamer and Obama is a thinker and a doer.

Posted by Sue Deener | Report as abusive

@ Average Joe He has not broken all promises. In fact, he has already done several things that he promised to do. Naming two: Start the Gitmo closures, and announce a plan to pull out of Iraq. These are extremely contentious actions, but that is not any different from their existence to date.

@TC Thank you for at least posting something relevant to the article.

Posted by LK | Report as abusive

What Obama has done so far is to put this nation into debt like we have never seen before and will likely never be seen again. Primarily because we havent the means to ever payoff what we owe.
Taxing only the rich when there is a national debt above our capacity to pay only causes those who are taxed to leave and take their assets with them. Then what?

Posted by zuma | Report as abusive

it is my humble opinion that any president actually making changes that need to happen would get a bullet in his head. obama is a great speaker. it is naive to belive that a president actually does anything other than petty legislation. so if you want to see jesus and saving babies, sure you wont like obama. if he happens to stand up to, say, the federal reserve, a private company controlling our money source, then he will be my hero, until then, he is just an ok guy who isnt a stick in the mud conservative.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

Obama has continued to lie, what else is new? He is taking credit for ending the war in Iraq. Got news for everyone, Bush signed the end of war treaty in August 2008, the exact same glory that Obama is crediting. The war is over folks, unless obama starts it up again in violtion of a US Treaty, which he seems to be trying real hard to do. Also, he never promised to cut taxes, or lower the deficit, so by tripling taxes, destroying jobs, and bringing Socialism to the former USA, he is indeed standing firm on his campaign promises.

And he is a firm proponent for full term abortions, up to and including time of birth. So he is keeping his promises with Sebilius as HHS lead.

Posted by Incredulous | Report as abusive

There is no difference. They are two imperfect men. For one, man has dominated man to his injury. Two, it does not belong to man even to direct his step. Since God never authorized man to be independent from him, rule under any man will not succeed. And three, the whole world is lying in the powe of the wicked one. When the Titanic was sinking, would it have made a difference at that point if they switched captains at that point? Of course not, it doesn’s matter WHO is ruling, man will never be able to establish a just Government no matter how great a ruler seems. Rulers can be replaced but the world will continue to sink because the only real solution would require superhuman abilities in which only Jehovah God can provide.

Posted by Nellie | Report as abusive

2nd Chronicles 7:14 is the solution but it will never happen because of the lack of morality in this country. This world will get it’s “Change” and it won’t be what everyone thinks. Everyone thought that Noah was an idiot but changed their mind once it was too late. Regardless of who is in the white house….. God almighty has it all under control. The Lord is my Rock and My Salvation! Whom shall I fear???? Nobody!

Posted by Baylor Tarnes | Report as abusive

Wow, some people won’t give the President a break. I guess you all don’t know how much Mr. Bush lied to the U.S. starting with WMD’s. The rest of his lies are now history and they are long. Wait, Mr. Obama is creating the biggest deficit in U.S. History? Correct, WHY? Think about it. What would really happen to everybody if the majority of the banks and insurance companies and car companies all went belly up? Oh you can’t think that far, can you? I can see the man is trying to come up with a plan based on Mr. Roosevet’s New Deal during the Depression. Why don’t we give it a chance to see if it works. In the meantime, your banks are still open and you still have money in them. Be happy for that.

Posted by LYDIA | Report as abusive

it is worrying when you see people making statements when they have absolutely no evidence to support what they are saying. average american,obama has never run i company in his life how can you validate a statement like the one you made? LK yes he said he is closing gitomo but he has not started,at present it is just talk.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Behind Obama’s smile is a very dangerous man. He is stealing our money from the US treasury to fund his socialist programs. Our country is being destroyed right in front of our eyes and there are people like myself who realize it. I hope that the sheep who follow Obama come to their senses soon and see him for who he really is, another Jim Jones. Stop drinking the kool-aid!

Posted by Bernie | Report as abusive

I am tired of all the lies in politics. Obama said in his State of the union address that he was not about big government. If you believe that obama is not about big government you are oficially brain washed. Open your eyes people. This guy is going to ruin this nation. The last thing we need is to spend more money then we have and put the burden on future generations. We need to deal with this problem now; borrowing more money is just going to make the downturn last longer and cause hyper inflation. Please think people what happens when the value of our dollar declines. We lose money, our money is worth less, everything costs more and we make the same amount of money so we are screwed. Even if you voted for Obama dont let your pride get in the way of the truth.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

Not much in reality. President Obama uses fear to push his agenda as Bush was accused of doing. President Obama twists words, he is just the same old same old politics.

President Obama does use verbal attacks against his predecessor to divert attention from his own actions.

Case in point: He said Bush not putting Iraq and Afghanastan war costs on budget was Enron like accounting. War costs are not usually on budget at first, Vietnam wasn’t. Bush did have those costs in the 2008 budget according to a Reuters article I read when his 2008 budget came out.

Obama was playing fast and loose with the facts sounds like.

Posted by winz | Report as abusive

The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by Abel Tsegga | Report as abusive

TC, Steve, Average Joe, Jan, brian lee, incredulous, zuma, Bernie, Jay, winz, just what alternative universe have you all been for the last eight years? If Obama spends only eight years undoing all the wrong Bush did while listening to you Dittoheads we’ll be lucky. “The last thing we need is to spend more money then we have and put the burden on future generations.” Where the hell were you when Bush first came in to office and one of the first things he did was give everyone a big fat unaffordable tax cut using borrowed money while the country still had an unpaid national debt? As to Iraq, last I saw we were still there and out people were still being blown up, and whatever Bush signed may have been a treaty but I don’t recall it passing 2/3 of the Senate as the Constitution requires for a treaty to enter into force. What did Bush have to blame on Clinton? “Thanks for leaving the country on the road to fiscal balance, you adulterer!” “So far BlowBama has broken all his promises and Bush never broke any.” So far. Still, what, about 46 months to go in his first term, eh? We’ve had eight years to evaluate Bush’s legacy along with the thought processes of all those who still believe he was such a wonderful man; I wonder how they can even get out of bed in the morning and face themselves in the mirror.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

What’s the difference between Bush and Obama? One of them didn’t need a favorable 5:4 decision from a friendly Supreme Court to become president. And if you start up with the Acorn stuff again, show me the proof.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

borisjimbo. I guess what you saying is that two wrongs does make a right. The fact of the matter is that Obama is not undoing any wrong, he is making matters worse. Can’t you see what is happening to our economy merely because he makes a decision?

When he or Geithner talks about the economy, the stock market falls. It has been falling since the day Obama took office. There is no confidence in his ability to solve this problem and it shows. This has nothing to do with Bush. It is Obama’s show now and he is stinking, so far.

Not only that, only around 37 percent of the people in this country wanted the spending plan forced on us. Now, he wants to take on health care, but only around 37 percent want it to happen now. They want the economy to get fixed first.

As I said earlier, just because Obama demands to hear from everyone in the room, doesn’t mean he is going make anything better, so far that is true.

Also, Bush won Florida. Recounts showed it to be true. The Supreme Court merely validated the voters in Florida. Also, had Gore got his way with the recount Bush would have won with an even wider margin. Either way, he won. Those are facts regarding the 2000 election.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

If the butterfly ballot had been designed properly, if the GOP hadn’t funded Nader’s campaign, if all the misvotes for Buchanan had gone instead where they were intended for Gore, if any of a number of things had broken the other way, we wouldn’t have gotten into Iraq. Those are facts too.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

got it wrong man, during the eight years in office bush never bad mouthed clinton or any american politician.stick to the facts borisjimbo.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive