Embarrassed? Why should he be embarrassed?
Good for George—out and about and speaking his mind. You go, guy!
The last thing he wants is to be tagged with that whole “lame duck” thing, so he’s doing just the opposite: the brisk pace, the nonstop activity. One day he’s off to the Middle East, praising this and criticizing that, and even stealing headlines back home with provocative—some might say incendiary—analogies from world history.
Then he’s back from the Middle East and he’s telling Congress which bills it should pass and which bills it shouldn’t, and what he’s going to do to the ones they’re foolish enough to send him after he warned them not to.
He’s giving interviews. (He’s complaining about the way the interviews are edited.) He’s meeting with his Cabinet secretaries. He’s…
He’s keeping busy. And good for him!
See, lots of people wouldn’t be able to do it. If they found themselves in the position he’s in, that is, lots of people would just hunker down and wait for the end. But that’s not our George. He’s showing everybody he’ll be pedaling like mad, right on through to the finish line.
And lots of people, even if they weren’t quite hunkering down, they’d still dial it back a little bit, just so other people wouldn’t think they’d lost touch with the way things really are.
After all, it’s not like he’s heading to that finish line in a blaze of glory. The economy’s in a stagger. His wars are still oozing blood and billions, and our standing in the world has taken a major hit. His own approval ratings have dropped below freezing, and even his fellow Republicans are treating him like he’s got smallpox.
Sure, if he wants to raise money for them—some fancy dinner behind closed doors for the few remaining faithful—that’d be OK. But sharing a stage and a spotlight out in public? Not so much.
Can you blame them? They have to consider their careers.
Anyway: With all of that going on, lots of people would probably think twice about telling other people how they should do things. Having made such a holy hash of so much for so long, that is, they might decide they weren’t exactly the best people to go lecturing other people.
But that’s not our George.
Seven years in the Oval Office might have cost him his clout, his popularity, his legacy, but they haven’t made a dent in his certitude. He knows what he knows—whether it’s how a superpower should conduct diplomacy, or how it can pooh-pooh global warming—and he’s still perfectly happy to share what he knows with a waiting world.
And here’s the best part: He’s still perfectly confident that the world will be listening.
Rather than, say, snickering. Rather than, say, wondering, “And we’re supposed to follow your advice because…?”
It takes a special kind of person to pull it off. But sometimes the planets line up just right and that special person appears at just that special moment. This looks like one of those times, wouldn’t you say?
So enjoy the show while you still can—we’ve got only eight more months of our George being our George.
You go, guy!
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.