TRUMANESQUE?

Tim Hanes has an amusing piece on GWB’s foreign policy legacy, chock full of delightful quips like this one:

Jacques Chirac’s choice of venue — Evian — is inspired. He has settled upon a location that epitomises perfectly the essence of international summitry. It is, after all, a product for which you can pay a small fortune when you could easily have something almost identical on tap.

After an examination of competiting theses on where Bush fits into historical perspective, he concludes,

If Mr Bush should be compared with anyone it is Harry Truman. Truman was a slightly accidental President (he took office on the sudden death of Franklin Roosevelt), widely mocked by American and European elites. He was swiftly confronted with the end of the Second World War, the invention of nuclear weapons and the emergence of the superpower struggle. He had to shape foreign policy on the hoof, invent institutions at home and abroad to match new circumstances, set precedents and draw lines in the sand. Substitute the chads of Florida, religious terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and it is not a bad (if imperfect) fit.

It was also Truman who said that a statesman is “a politician who has been dead 10 or 15 years”. It was certainly a decade after he left the White House before his approach was universally appreciated. Much the same will be true for Mr Bush.

Works for me.

FILED UNDER: World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.