I visited the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station this weekend. It was the first time I had been there and I have to say it was pretty nice. I didn’t get to spend as much time looking at all the exhibits as I might have – what with a 15-month-old running around having lots of fun – but I saw enough to get the gist of the place and I will probably go back a number of times.
One thing that struck me in light of the criticism leveled at the recently opened Clinton Library in Arkansas is how unfair it is to expect a president to highlight negative things about themselves in their own library. Bush certainly did not. There was no mention of Bush’s role in the Iran-Contra scandal or his decision to pardon Casper Weinburger which brought an end to further investigation of the incident. There was no mention of his broken “No New Taxes” pledge or about the time that he got sick and vomited on the Japanese prime minister.
There was nothing but glowing, good news about the Bush years. Even the newspaper headlines that were featured as parts of the exhibit were clipped from the Bush-friendly Washington Times rather than the Washington Post. But that is his prerogative.
I tried hard in 1988 to see that there would never be a Bush Library, (I still refuse to refer to George Bush Drive in College Station as anything other than Jersey Street) but once that effort failed I was at least glad that he built it at Texas A&M – an ideal location by my estimation.