Leave it to former president Bill Clinton to point out that the Bush Library is the latest attempt by an ex-president to rewrite history. Clinton began his speech by calling the library, “latest grandest example of the eternal struggle of former Presidents to rewrite history.”
Former President Clinton’s speech maintained his friendly tone, and highlighted the personal friendship between himself and Bush, but his not so subtle dig at rewriting history was something that everyone has been thinking.
Clinton lavished plenty of praise on former President Bush for his commitment to aid for Africa as president, but the Democratic icon largely kept away from the policies of the Bush years that he disagreed with so vehemently. It must drive former President Clinton up the wall that Bush came into office and wrecked the budget surplus that he left behind. Former President Clinton was also a vocal critic of the Bush tax cuts while campaigning for President Obama last year.
What Bill Clinton said wasn’t devastating, but it was a knowing nod to the dog and pony show that has been the Bush Library dedication. His remarks about rewriting history were a bit of wink and a nod. It was his gentle way of letting the audience know that he is in on the joke, and understands that this whole thing in terms of politics, is a load of bull.
Clinton was correct. Ex-presidents all try to rewrite history with their presidential libraries. It just so happens that George W. Bush’s library is the most extreme revision of history since Herbert Hoover.
Bill Clinton was having a good old time today, but his remark about rewriting history was a subtle reminder that more history might be made by another famous Clinton in 2016.