Was Obama Ungracious to Bush Last Night? Or Too Gracious?

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Going into last night’s Oval Office address on the end of the combat in Iraq, one of the big questions was how much credit President Obama would give to former President Bush for the surge that made withdrawal from a reasonably stable Iraq even possible. Obviously, Obama was a big opponent of the surge. Would he be admitting that he was wrong by thanking Bush for his tough decision? Does it even make any sense to thank Bush for fixing a disaster he helped to create in the first place? (Where is Bush, by the way? Is he hibernating to save up energy for his impending book-publicity marathon?) Ultimately, here’s how Obama tackled the issue:

This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one can doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I’ve said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis’ future.


Merely acknowledging that Bush supported the troops and loved the country (duh?) is, obviously, not the same as giving him credit or thanks. But was it gracious and generous enough?



Merely acknowledging that Bush supported the troops and loved the country (duh?) is, obviously, not the same as giving him credit or thanks. But was it gracious and generous enough?

Michael Gerson, Post Partisan/Washington Post:


Eugene Robinson, Post Partisan/Washington Post:


Richard Cohen, Post Partisan/Washington Post:


E.J. Dionne Jr., NPR:


New York Times editorial:


Jennifer Rubin, Contentions/Commentary:


Jonah Goldberg, Corner/National Review:


Joe Klein, Swampland/Time:


Victor Davis Hanson, Corner/National Review:


Ed Morrissey, Hot Air:


David Frum, Frum Forum:


Adam Serwer, Plum Line/Washington Post: