Daily Archives: January 16, 2009

Gideon Rachman

When he leaves the White House, George W. Bush might be tempted to try out his own version of Richard Nixon’s famous line to the press that – “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around any more.” Except that Bush junior doesn’t do self-pity. We learnt that in his rather strange closing press conference, when he adopted a whiny voice to say – “why did the financial crisis have to happen on my watch?” – before denouncing such sentiments as “pathetic” self-pity. From this I deduced that this thought is bothering him a lot.

Indeed, former leaders often spend a huge amount of time worrying about their images. I was once told that Lady Thatcher meant a special point of cultivating historians, in the hope that they might write something nice about her. They certainly don’t have much that is nice to say about George W.Bush. One recent poll of American historians found that 61% thought he was the worst American president ever and 98% rated him a failure.

Any verdict that unanimous makes me a bit suspicious. Is there really nothing good to say about President Bush? Fred Barnes in the Weekly Standard has a try.  

Gideon Rachman

These are troubled times at Bank of America – what with today’s announcement of an emergency government bail-out.

Still, if employees are feeling depressed may I suggest that they take a fond look-back at this inspirational video, made by Bank of America employees in happier times. It features an ecstatic middle-manager singing a song, set to a tune by U2, about a recent merger that the bank had negotiated. The song contains immortal lines like – “Two great companies come together/ MBNA and BOA/ One bank, one card, one name that’s known all over the world”. Bono himself couldn’t have put it any better.