President Bush’s Farewell Address (with honesty imbedded for your reading pleasure) Part 1
Five days from now (even though you’d like it sooner), the world will witness the vitality of American democracy (back from the dead). In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people (as opposed to the one chosen by the Supreme Court).
Tonight I am filled with gratitude - to Vice President Cheney (for handling everything) and members of the Administration (who I hope won’t be writing too many books about the truth of their time with me); to Laura, who brought joy to this house and love to my life (and who I haven’t seen naked in the past 8 years); to our wonderful daughters, Barbara and Jenna (who too many have seen naked); to my parents, whose examples have provided strength for a lifetime (especially Mom’s compassionate observation of Kartina’s refugees holed up in the Astrodome: “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them.”)
And above all, I thank the American people for the trust you have given me (which I threw right into the crapper). I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits (especially when I imbibed in them). And I thank you for the countless acts of courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed (though was incapable of actually doing myself) these past eight years.
This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house - September 11, 2001 (You know, about a month before Condaleeza and I heard it was being planned). That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives (about a hundred thousand less than perished from my disastrous decisions) in the worst attack (other than my presidency) on America since Pearl Harbor. I remember standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center three days later, surrounded by rescuers who had been working around the clock. I remember talking to brave souls who charged through smoke-filled corridors at the Pentagon and to husbands and wives whose loved ones became heroes aboard Flight 93. I remember Arlene Howard, who gave me her fallen son’s police shield as a reminder of all that was lost. And I still carry his badge. (And I remember how I told you I would give up golf - which I gave up a month later - to commiserate with those who were grieving over their loved one’s lives).
Part 2 presently being scanned for your personal security.