On June 23, 2003, Bush said: “I came to the office of the presidency to solve problems, not to pass them on to future presidents and future generations. I came to seize opportunities instead of letting them slip away.” He was in New York, for the opening swing of his 2004 re-election campaign. This get-the-job-done approach to governing had been a bedrock of Bush’s first presidential race in 2000. The particular line appeared only briefly, though, as a rebuttal to Democrat Al Gore’s Social Security plan. It was only with that New York speech that it became a staple, as the president sought a return to the White House in 2004 and stumped for fellow Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. “It’s definitely part of his self-image to be a doer, and to be a person who throws the long pass and does big things, not just small things,” said Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas political scientist. The image was effective with voters. It also hinted at Bush’s more sweeping political aspirations. He had hopes of governing in a way that would attract new constituencies into the Republican Party, transforming it into the nation’s dominant political force far beyond his time.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Bush Leaving Some Problems to Successors