Skip to comments.Live Thread: President Bush Farewell Address 8 P.M. EST ("this great Nation will never tire …")
Posted on 01/15/2009 3:25:03 PM PST by kristinn
President George W. Bush will address the nation from the East Room of the White House at 8 p.m. EST.
The White House released excerpts of the speech to the media:
Five days from now, the world will witness the vitality of American democracy. In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole Nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls.
Tonight I am filled with gratitude. I thank the American people for the trust you have given me. I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed these past eight years.
This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house September 11, 2001. That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor.
As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.
Over the past seven years, a new Department of Homeland Security has been created. The military, the intelligence community, and the FBI have been transformed. Our Nation is equipped with new tools to monitor the terrorists movements, freeze their finances, and break up their plots. And with strong allies at our side, we have taken the fight to the terrorists and those who support them.
There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil. This is a tribute to those who toil day and night to keep us safe law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts, homeland security and diplomatic personnel, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity. We are standing with dissidents and young democracies, providing AIDS medicine to bring dying patients back to life, and sparing mothers and babies from malaria. And this great republic born alone in liberty is leading the world toward a new age when freedom belongs to all nations.
For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home. Across our country, students are rising to meet higher standards in public schools. A new Medicare prescription drug benefit is bringing peace of mind to seniors and the disabled. Every taxpayer pays lower income taxes. The addicted and suffering are finding new hope through faith-based programs. Vulnerable human life is better protected. Funding for our veterans has nearly doubled. Americas air, water, and lands are measurably cleaner. And the Federal bench includes wise new members like Justice Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I have always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.
The decades ahead will bring more hard choices for our country, and there are some guiding principles that should shape our course.
While our Nation is safer than it was seven years ago, the gravest threat to our people remains another terrorist attack. Our enemies are patient, and determined to strike again. America did nothing to seek or deserve this conflict. But we have been given solemn responsibilities, and we must meet them. We must resist complacency. We must keep our resolve. And we must never let down our guard.
At the same time, we must continue to engage the world with confidence and clear purpose. In the face of threats from abroad, it can be tempting to seek comfort by turning inward. But we must reject isolationism and its companion, protectionism. Retreating behind our borders would only invite danger. In the 21st century, security and prosperity at home depend on the expansion of liberty abroad. If America does not lead the cause of freedom, that cause will not be led.
As we address these challenges and others we cannot foresee tonight America must maintain our moral clarity. I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise.
Even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.
I have confidence in the promise of America because I know the character of our people. This is a Nation that inspires immigrants to risk everything for the dream of freedom. This is a Nation where citizens show calm in times of danger and compassion in the face of suffering.
These virtues give me an unshakable faith in America. We have faced danger and trial, and there is more ahead. But with the courage of our people and confidence in our ideals, this great Nation will never tire
and never fail.
I'll ditto that, Kristinn, and I'll add that it was my pleasure to find this website during the Bush admninistration, to be able to share the experiences under the leadership of the only president for whom I voted - and won. (Bush 41, Dole, and Palin/the other guy didn't, Dukakis Thankfully didn't.)
Thanks to JimRob, the Mods, and the firebrand posters here who take on the drive by trolls and put them in their place. Slightly off thread, but hey - credit where credit is due!
He really does. That's the best I've seen him look on TV in a long time.
Hi Deb. Good to "see" you. I'm skeptical if we will ever see his like again, at least not in our lifetimes.
Successor...but point taken...and a reminder that his predecessor didn't...but I'll leave that for another thread! :)
Bush is always gracious - there were many times when I wished he’d be a little less gracious, I admit - but he has class and I think that’s going to be something we’ll miss.
We owe him a lot. For those people who blame him for failing the GOP, I think it was actually the GOP that failed him a lot of the time. He didn’t get much support even from his own party, and many of them were all too happy to jump on the hate Bush bandwagon. He had a very hard presidency and he handled it extremely well.
We’re going to be missing him sorely in the next few years, I bet.
Oh GOD... Please don’t go!
God Bless you Mr. President. Thank you so much... so much
This Nation is greater because of you, and will be less with out you at the helm.
Stay safe, and rest easy in the knowledge that history will record you as one of our finest presidents, and among the strongest. For myself, the most beloved.
Thank you President Bush.
Good to see someone was paying attention to the President's real message!
I suspect the President -- who contrary to popular opinion is not stupid -- does not think much of Obama's likely competency as President. The President talked of freedom, freedom and freedom and he knows full well that the 'rats, led by Pelosi and Reid and Obama, will do their best to reduce freedom both in this country and overseas to reduce it. They are blatantly opposed to freedom as evidenced by the proposal to abolish secret ballots in union elections.
And yet the President refused to be downbeat. He's optimistic despite the prospect of the poorman's Jimmy Carter taking office. That sunny optimism -- like the sunny optimism of another courageous Republican President -- is the right attitude to take.
The 'rats will overplay their hand and we need to get prepared for 2010 and 2012. As far as I'm concerned, THAT'S what GWB was telling those of use who elected Reagan twice, elected GWB twice, and will elect the next Republican President.
Free Republic can ban me if they want...I don't care anymore...I've bit my tongue so many times in responding to asses like you, that I'm surprised I can even speak anymore...people like you and that Dennis poster make me sick...yep, I believe in free speech, and this is mine...take a friggin' hike...I'm sure DU would appreciate your thoughts...you should be down on your damn knees thanking God that George Bush has kept this country safe since 9-11...but people like you appreciate nothing!...you're part of the reason this country is in the shape it is...it's just too bad the rest of us have to pay for your stupidity...I hope you haven't reproduced.
Only three words from me: GOD BLESS YOU
Thanks, StarFan, and all of the rest here who seem to be able to put things in perspective. I don’t want any of my fellow Americans to die in this country because a good man and a patriot gets replaced by a malignant narcissist and I hope that doesn’t happen.
That is my hope.
Absolutely, and thank you.... I guess you can say with Obama I just don’t know if I am coming or going anymore...LOL.... back to the mindset of 9/10/01 we go....
I've had the same thought. The way Biden blurted out that Obama would be tested within the first 6 months ... I don't know, that seemed like something more than just the typical Biden flub.
I’ve had people say he looks tired.
Not tired, but relieved I think. This great leader is now going to be at his ranch .looking at the setting sun and thinking, “what an honor it was for me to be the leader of the greatest nation in the world, and most especially, the CIC of such selfless, heroic people.”
Though he's obviously alive, I'm reminded of his own words at President Reagan's service five years ago:
"We lost Ronald Reagan only days ago...but we have missed him for a long time. Ronald Reagan belongs to the ages...but we preferred it when he was with us."
May God bless both "soon to be former" Presidents Bush, and when the day does come for them to belong to the ages, I pray that the President at the time will treat them with the honor and respect they have merited.
Laura Ingraham was on the O’Reilly program this evening. She had some nice things to say about Bush. She also acknowledged that the Republican party was in a shambles right now. I think it’s best to let folks have their day right now to relish Bush.
The reality is a pretty difficult thing to explain away, but it’s not worth fighting over.
May God bless President Bush and Vice President Cheney. May the road rise up to meet them and may the wind be at their backs.
My family is very grateful for their service to our nation.
thank you for putting into an eloquent comment what I tried to do..You really really really write well!
I left the room immediately after the speech but hubby was channel surfing. Suddenly there was crazed chris matthews. He moved on to CSPIN and the caller was just as crazed.