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10 Take Aways From the Bush Years
The Washington Post ^ | January 18, 2009 | Bob Woodward

Posted on 01/15/2009 8:03:01 AM PST by CedarDave

There's actually a lot that President-elect Barack Obama can learn from the troubled presidency of George W. Bush. Over the past eight years, I have interviewed President Bush for nearly 11 hours, spent hundreds of hours with his administration's key players and reviewed thousands of pages of documents and notes.

That produced four books, totaling 1,727 pages, that amount to a very long case study in presidential decision-making, and there are plenty of morals to the story. Presidents live in the unfinished business of their predecessors, and Bush casts a giant shadow on the Obama presidency: two incomplete wars and a monumental financial and economic crisis. Here are 10 lessons that Obama and his team should take away from the Bush experience.

1. Presidents set the tone. Don't be passive or tolerate virulent divisions.

2. The president must insist that everyone speak out loud in front of the others, even -- or especially -- when there are vehement disagreements.

3. A president must do the homework to master the fundamental ideas and concepts behind his policies.

4. Presidents need to draw people out and make sure bad news makes it to the Oval Office.

5. Presidents need to foster a culture of skepticism and doubt.

6. Presidents get contradictory data, and they need a rigorous way to sort it out.

7. Presidents must tell the hard truth to the public, even if that means delivering very bad news.

8. Righteous motives are not enough for effective policy.

9. Presidents must insist on strategic thinking.

10. The president should embrace transparency. Some version of the behind-the-scenes story of what happened in his White House will always make it out to the public -- and everyone will be better off if that version is as accurate as possible.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bobwoodward; bush; bushpresidency
The presidency according to Bob Woodward. Each point lists examples, all of which leads to an unstated conclusion by Woodward of a deeply flawed leader and a failed presidency.

(BTW the date on the story is Sunday, January 18. Guess Woodwards just sharpening the knife with the online version.)

1 posted on 01/15/2009 8:03:01 AM PST by CedarDave
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To: CedarDave

One take away from Woodward...he makes stuff up.


2 posted on 01/15/2009 8:05:19 AM PST by y6162
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To: CedarDave

His first two paragraphs say everythin you need to know about Bob Woodward. His primary goal is to tell you how wonderful he is.


3 posted on 01/15/2009 8:07:54 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: CedarDave

Mr. Woodward, try substituting “The Washington Post” for “The President” in your article.

For example, point out how often the WaPo embraces views that deviate from the official Leftist line.


4 posted on 01/15/2009 8:08:24 AM PST by CivilWarguy
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To: CedarDave

“..troubled presidency of George W. Bush.”

###

No need to read further.


5 posted on 01/15/2009 8:09:52 AM PST by EyeGuy
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To: CedarDave
Most of these "helpful hints" from Woodward seem to boil down to:

1) Don't be stupid like Bush was.
2) Don't be dishonest like Bush was.

Hold on to your seat, Bob! You ain't seen nothin' yet!

6 posted on 01/15/2009 8:10:00 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: CedarDave

“Democrat Presidents live in the unfinished business of their predecessors...”

Fixed it. Notice how Bush is never shown as having to pick up the pieces of Clinton’s foreign policy, military draw down, intelligence “wall”, and misguided housing policies.


7 posted on 01/15/2009 8:11:03 AM PST by PhilosopherStones
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To: CivilWarguy

Already 340 comments on this article at the Compost web site. Many recognize Woodward for what he is and others perform the usual flaming that is symptomatic of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome).


8 posted on 01/15/2009 8:12:47 AM PST by CedarDave (Under Obama, yesterday's pork-laden earmarks have become tomorrow's economic stimulus projects)
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To: CedarDave

#1: Presidents must put American people first: before illegals; before other countries, even those friendly to us; before their own party; before themselves.

There is only 1 rule.


9 posted on 01/15/2009 8:13:07 AM PST by mad puppy (Never have I felt so politically radical and I swear I didn't move an inch.)
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To: CedarDave

11. A President should never trust the Press, particularly liberal press. They will praise you only until they get in a position to stab you in the back and make themselves look good. Yes, even Liberal Presidents. If you read a good story about yourself, beware the knife.


10 posted on 01/15/2009 8:14:24 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll)
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To: CedarDave

Bobby will be licking the messiah’s butt like the rest of the libtards.


11 posted on 01/15/2009 8:14:49 AM PST by dynachrome (Barack Hussein Obama yunikku khinaaziir)
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To: CedarDave

Bush = frog

Woodward = scorpion


12 posted on 01/15/2009 8:16:19 AM PST by Cedric
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To: CedarDave
"Everything I Need to Know as President, I Learned from a Lame-Ass, Trite, Bob Woodward Article."

Drink cocoa to be happy, and hold hands crossing the street.

13 posted on 01/15/2009 8:17:04 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: EyeGuy

Though I disagreed with a lot of his domestic policy (e.g. immigration, not toeing the line on the budget or keeping spending in line, and his most recent bailouts [without pointing out where the real blame lays]), he kept us safe for seven years after 9/11.

I am trying to get a ticket to go to the welcome home celebration in Midland on Tuesday. I was there to send him off and would like to welcome him back to Texas.


14 posted on 01/15/2009 8:17:18 AM PST by CedarDave (Under Obama, yesterday's pork-laden earmarks have become tomorrow's economic stimulus projects)
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To: CedarDave

Yes. I disagree strongly with the President on a number of issues and feel that he has severely damaged the Republican party, and been a poor standard bearer for Conservative ideology.

That said, he is a good man of integrity, who handled the crucial issue of his Presidency with courage and true patriotism.

His Presidency is no more “troubled” than any other, and certainly less than that of the impeached, amoral used car salesman who he succeeeded.

The talentless, egotist Woodward is employing the old liberal double standard. Again.


15 posted on 01/15/2009 8:28:57 AM PST by EyeGuy
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To: CedarDave
GW Bush is a globalist just like Obama/Hillary is...

The socialists "are and always have been" globalists first.. The treason is deep and far reaching.. in both parties.. Is there any difference between the socialist, communist and democrat parties?.. The republican party seems to have been taken over by the globalists.. its not about capitalism ANY MORE.. but the capitalization of socialism(China/Russia)..

16 posted on 01/15/2009 8:37:39 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: CedarDave
The biggest Woodward take-away (is that even a word?) from the Bush administration has been a fair income on a steady stream of vituperation that he is unlikely to get away with under the MSM-shielded Obama. I feel for him but I just can't reach him.

As for honesty, however, the entire "Bush lied" mantra has obscured the fact that Bush was and remains honest to a fault. His open admission that there were fewer WMD's in Iraq than he expected is an example - a perfectly honest statement that played into the profoundly dishonest propaganda game his enemies - I won't dignify them with the term "opponents" - were playing. His steadfast and open adherence to immigration amnesty infuriated his conservative base. He could have been disingenuous on the topic - nearly everyone else in D.C. is - but he was not. It isn't, pace Woodward, a case of lack of political acumen. No one reaches the office of the Presidency for two terms in the sort of fog people who ought to know better insist is inhabited by a feckless and ignorant Bush. It just doesn't happen, not even in the person of the otherwise genuinely feckless and ignorant Jimmy Carter.

It is useless, however, to expect that sort of honesty from the likes of Bob Woodward - his job selects against it. One might as well hope for an objective view of Louis XVI from Robespierre. And so let's take pieces such as this one for what they are, a last, desperate indulgence in a comfortable and disappearing hatred. Mr. Woodward can console himself with the notion that it is change he can believe in.

17 posted on 01/15/2009 8:51:31 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: CedarDave

Woodward will be proven wrong.


18 posted on 01/15/2009 9:11:33 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: CedarDave

Can you imagine Woodward writing anything like this about Obama in four years?


19 posted on 01/15/2009 9:12:11 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: CedarDave

When he says he spent hundreds of hours with “...administration key players...” that means Colin Powell.


20 posted on 01/15/2009 9:14:53 AM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: CedarDave

Woodwards list is idiocy.

Here are some real lessons:
1. Realize that if you are a Republican, the press will try to destroy you.
2. Have an ideology and stick to it. Know what you believe and why.
3. Listen to conservative talk radio. They dismantle liberal lies and talking points every day. You should be able to do the same.
4. Do not get on the defensive, attack your enemy, keep him off balance. When he is defending he is not attacking.
5. Do NOT accept blame for things when you are not responsible. Katrina is a good example. Rather than taking the heat off, it validates their hatred and they will use it as a weapon. It also cuts the knees out from your supporters.
6. Realize that everything the media says is a lie. Point it out at every opportunity. Destroy their credibility. Show your contempt for them.
7. Being nice to your opponents is a waste of time. Leftists respond to sticks, not carrots.
8. Do not depend on anyone else to deliver your message, blanket the airwaves with announcements and proposals. Go directly to the people. Stay visible and in touch.
9. Do not assume that even obvious things are obvious. Explain the reason for everything being done. Push your proposals with reason. Use clearly worded statements to fight your opponents proposals.
10. Reward your supporters by pushing their agenda. Get things done that are important to them. Reverse the wrongheaded and destructive policies of RAT presidents. Do not merely hold back the tide of liberalism, reverse it.


21 posted on 01/15/2009 9:34:16 AM PST by Hacklehead (Liberalism is the art of taking what works, breaking it, and then blaming conservatives.)
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To: Hacklehead

Excellent advice. Bookmarking. Suggest you include these on your home page (which is excellent, by the way).


22 posted on 01/15/2009 9:40:32 AM PST by CedarDave (Under Obama, yesterday's pork-laden earmarks have become tomorrow's economic stimulus projects)
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To: Hacklehead

Good list.

To expand a bit on your #4:

As conservatives we need to take out the foundational constructs liberals are routinely allowed to erect. That is, attack the very premise on which they base their arguments, because therein is where the whole rotten Leftist perspective goes off the tracks.

Too often we are on the defensive, because we allow the Left to frame the argument, set the ground rules and establish the premise.


23 posted on 01/15/2009 9:43:50 AM PST by EyeGuy
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To: ClearCase_guy
Hold on to your seat, Bob! You ain't seen nothin' yet!

He doesn't need to. He's already written his Obama book. Just needs to wait 4 years to publish and fill in a few blanks from current events to make it look credible.

24 posted on 01/15/2009 2:41:13 PM PST by PsyOp (Put government in charge of tire pressure, and we'll soon have a shortage of air. - PsyOp.)
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To: CedarDave

Funny how none of these matter if the media is for you. You could put “unless the media is in your favor” for every one and it would nullify the point.

The real lesson is that a powerful, organized, mainstream media can and will destroy anyone unless they fight back hard. And apparently George W. Bush had no stomach for fighting the media.


25 posted on 01/15/2009 3:00:57 PM PST by dan1123 (Liberals sell it as "speech which is hateful" but it's really "speech I hate".)
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To: Hacklehead

Good list.

Really, it could be boiled down to being a real conservative and having the balls to take on “respected” media figures.


26 posted on 01/15/2009 3:02:09 PM PST by dan1123 (Liberals sell it as "speech which is hateful" but it's really "speech I hate".)
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To: CedarDave

If Bush was a QB on the GOP football team and his tenure was a game the rats would had ten takeaways. 5 interceptions and 5 sacks with forced fumbles.


27 posted on 01/15/2009 4:21:41 PM PST by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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