George W. Bush may have seemed like a diminished figure on the political scene this year, but in fact he was everywhere, his role in American politics perhaps larger than ever before. If you had to summarize the Democrats' message the one that led to their sweeping victories in November you might land upon, simply, "We're not Bush." Even his own party chose one of his longtime rivals as its nominee. It's hard to imagine the Obama moment if Bush had been less interested during his presidency in the expansion of U.S. power and more interested in financial management. Like all Presidents, though, Bush hopes history will judge him less like, say, Harding and more like another President who fought an unpopular war, Lincoln.
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