Most of yesterday was spent taking care of a sick child, but I did get a chance to finish an interesting piece in The Atlantic on D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee that I’ve been reading for the last month in little pieces (you know how that goes).
I came across a quote from Rhee, during the last portion of the article, that was striking to me because of how similar she sounded to President Bush during his last days in office.
Here’s what Rhee told Atlantic writer David Deal about the controversy and criticism she’s attracted with her bold decisions on school reform:
“Does that mean every decision is going to be right? No … Have I made some wrong decisions? Yeah. But the bottom line is, the reason I can sleep at night, really soundly every night, is because I know that even if I didn’t make the right call, I made it because I believed at that moment that it was the best thing for kids.”
Compare that to Bush’s words in his farewell address to the nation, on Jan. 15 at the White House:
“Like all who have held this office before me, I have experienced setbacks. There are things I would do differently if given the chance. Yet I’ve always acted with the best interests of our country in mind. I have followed my conscience and done what I thought was right. You may not agree with some of the tough decisions I have made. But I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions.”
Rhee’s “sleep at night” phrase also reminded me of Bush’s words at his last press conference on Jan. 12: “I don’t see how I can get back home in Texas and look in the mirror and be proud of what I see if I allowed the loud voices, the loud critics, to prevent me from doing what I thought was necessary to protect this country,” he said.
— Jon Ward, White House reporter, The Washington Times