I have a quibble with one word in this passage by Toby Harnden on the comparison of Obama to Bush, mostly to the former’s disfavor:
Obama responds “graciously” in a phone call, spoke with a “calm demeanour” during the financial crisis and “stood up to critics” by ordering a troop surge in Afghanistan. [Bush] seems genuinely affected by the election of the first black president of the United States.
Bush must know, however, that his steadfast refusal to make any comment at all about Obama’s presidency stands in stark contrast to the derision he has received from his successor. He is self-aware enough to realise that his pithy, confident interview answers are sharply different from Obama’s wordy circumlocutions.
…and that’s the word ‘enough.’ Many people forget that former former President Bush did serve as Governor of Texas; they don’t play all that dirty in that state, but they do play for keeps. For that matter, the 2004 election would have given Bush plenty of experience in letting someone in love with the sound of their own voice just keep on talking. I should note, though, that I believe that Bush is sincere when he repeatedly says that he doesn’t want to make President Obama’s life harder. It’s just that I think that he is not exactly heartbroken to know that this forbearance is paying dividends; after all, isn’t virtue supposed to be its own reward?
…or something like that, anyway.