Bush: I'd be an "agent for change," too

He says it's something candidates have to say. And it is, except when it isn't.


Tim Grieve
January 12, 2008 1:51AM (UTC)

In an interview for NBC, David Gregory asks George W. Bush if all the candidates' talk of "change" shouldn't be interpreted as a repudiation of his presidency. The president says no. "If I were running for office at this point, I'd be saying, 'Vote for me. I'm gonna be an agent for change.'"

Bush said that it's just the nature of American politics -- "You can't run for office and not say, 'I am an agent of change.'"

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That's probably true when the president-to-be-replaced has approval ratings hovering around the freezing mark. But when the incumbent president is popular -- when the incumbent president is, say, Ronald Reagan, and the man trying to replace him is, say, George H.W. Bush -- it's not so necessary to declare oneself an "agent of change."

Or as that Bush put it during the 1988 Republican National Convention: "Now, after two great terms, a switch will be made. But when you have to change horses in midstream, doesn't it make sense to switch to one who's going the same way"?


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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2008 Elections George W. Bush War Room

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