An alarm must have gone off somewhere, signaling former President George W. Bush to step out of his polite, self-imposed exile and back onto public radar. Indeed, Mr. Bush makes a noteworthy debut Tuesday evening, joining NBC “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, the sole late night guy who wears an American flag pin. The appearance will thrill those who identify the phrase “Miss me yet?” with Mr. Bush. He may be ready for his public.
“One thing that’s made these activities more inviting for George W. Bush is that his poll numbers are up. There’s a more welcoming audience out there, a more positive reception,” Bruce Buchanan — a presidential historian with the University of Texas at Austin — tells Inside the Beltway.
“The former president is not necessarily signaling he wants to enter the political debate. But I think he may be looking to be in the role of an elder statesman now,” Mr. Buchanan observes.
Is it risky for Mr. Bush to jump on faulty Obamacare issues during his NBC visit? Not really, as long as his comments are shaped by prudence and tempered with some empathy for President Obama and the rigors of the office. The former president likely may take a strategic poke or two, but wrap them in sage advice and a one-liner. Meanwhile, Mr. Bush has been talking policy with gusto in recent days.
“If private sector growth is the goal and Keystone pipeline creates 20,000 new private-sector jobs, build the damn thing,” Mr. Bush told a huge, enthusiastic audience of oil and gas executives at a jumbo-sized industry conference in Pittsburgh late last week. He also talked up immigration, wrangling Iran and dealing with Congress, later adding, “I don’t miss Washington, and I don’t miss being president.”
Still, there are indicators the former president misses — well, something.
“I think Mr. Bush has noted that his own predecessors have done very well with the elder statesman role. He’s already set up his library, a research arm and a foundation. So he could be ready for hands-on activities,” Mr. Buchanan says.
“President Obama can do the same. His favorability may have suffered, but once he’s out of office, and it’s five years down the line, the numbers will go up, just like they have with George W. Bush.”
AND HERE COMES LARRY KLAYMAN
Larry Klayman is ready to rumble, and will make those rumbles known Tuesday in Lafayette Park, the very rarefied bit of real estate opposite the White House. Mr. Klayman, who has been a watchdog and gadfly in the nation’s capital and elsewhere for some time, has organized “Occupy Washington D.C.” — a grass-roots event replete with speechifying and agenda.
“It is critical for us to rise up and confront the political establishment that has willfully and maliciously bound our hands and voices. We must invoke our unalienable right to liberty,” Mr. Klayman declares. “Our government has become so destructive that, as our Founding Fathers expressed, it is our right and duty to alter or abolish it, while ‘instituting’ a new government that truly represents We the People.”
He lists off the “growing scandals of the Obama administration,” from Benghazi to the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups to the faulty rollout of Obamacare.
Mr. Klayman says he is ready to “call out the administration for its unprecedented failure to represent ‘We the People.’” Among the speakers: former lawmakers Bob Barr and Gordon J. Humphrey and World Net Daily CEO Joseph Farah.
“The Second American Revolution begins Tuesday,” Mr. Klayman adds. See their big doings here: Reclaimamericanow.net