Eight years

Eight years

Two incomplete wars and a deep recession can surely take a toll on you. George W Bush in 2000, taking office, was much more than eight years younger than the same George W Bush in 2008.

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In December 2003, a gloatfull President Bush had his day: “Good riddance! the world is better off without you, Mr. Saddam Hussein.”

Five years later, a crowd bids their own good riddance.

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Similarities abound between Bush’s first inaugural address in 2001 and Obama’s a few years later. All in all, it just means the speech was plain vanilla, as expected from any presidential inauguration. Here are some cherry-picked comparison points:

Bush: “While many of our citizens prosper, others doubt the promise, even the justice, of our own country.”

Obama: “This crisis has reminded us […] that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous.”

Bush: “The ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing schools and hidden prejudice and the circumstances of their birth.”

Obama: “Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many.”

Bush: “We will defend our allies and our interests. We will show purpose without arrogance. We will meet aggression and bad faith with resolve and strength. And to all nations, we will speak for the values that gave our nation birth.”

Obama: “For those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”