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Blunt George W. Bush view of his legacy: 'I'll be dead'

August 1, 2008 | 10:54 pm

As any president does before any foreign tour, he meets with the press of the region matching his itinerary. As he prepared for his final tour of East Asia next week, including the opening of the Olympics in Beijing, President Bush sat down in the Map Room of the WhitPresident George W. Bush and his wife Laura He gave some blunt thought to his post White House legacy during interviews this week with East Asian journalistse House for an interview with a reporter from the region.

"What is going to be your legacy?'' asked Suthichai Sae-Yoon, of the Nation Multimedia Group in Thailand.

"Oh, I don't know,'' Bush replied. "'ll be dead when they finally figure it out.''

But how would he like history to remember him?

"Somebody who took on tough challenges and didn't shy away from doing what he thought was right,'' said the president not known for his comfort with introspection. "And, you know, look, I'm a big believer in freedom and liberty. That's been a hallmark of my agenda.

"But... there's no such thing as short-term history, so I am very confident in telling you that I'll be long gone before somebody finally figures out the true merit and meaning of the Bush administration.''

"Is there life after the White House?'' Bush was asked near the eve of a trip that will carry him to China for the opening of the Olympic Games, to South Korea and to Thailand. "Absolutely. I'm only 62 years old,'' said Bush, who plans to settle in Dallas, write and oversee construction of his presidential library at Southern Methodist University, his wife Laura's alma mater.

The writing machine Mark Silva over at the Swamp has more on this surprising story here. To see the transcripts of the president's interviews with other Asian journalists, go here, and here and also here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo credit: Fox News