The George W. Bush presidential library seems destined to go to Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
For starters, it is the alma mater of Laura Bush, which makes it a sentimental favorite. That should put it ahead of two other potential sitesBaylor University in Waco and the University of Dallas, a small Catholic school. Also, Bush plans to live in Dallas rather than at the ranch in Crawford.
Another plus for SMU is the ambitious plan to raise a reported $500 million from wealthy donors who are ready to contribute vast sums. Put another way, it opens the door for some folks to put a heavy arm on rich Texans willing to part with up to $25 million a pop.
Once this library is built, there will be three presidential libraries in the Lone Star Statethe others are the LBJ Library at the University of TexasAustin and the George H. W. Bush Library at Texas A&M University in College Station.
The legacy of the younger Bush presidency is already written. It is the tragic aftermath of the invasion of Iraq and the failure to plan adequately for its consequences. Bush's eagerness to leave the fighting in Afghanistan to invade Iraq has been a disaster.
Library planners will have to be miracle workers to put any kind of positive face on the occupation.
Bush's single-mindedness and steady intransigence on dealing with this situation have led the nation into one of its darker hours. It is nothing but horrific in terms of blood and treasure.
This library, wherever it is situated, should save a room to be dedicated to President Warren G. Harding. Historians in general have rated him our nation's worst president. He was blind to the corruption and scandals in his tenure.
For my mind, Bush is in direct competition with Harding for his handling of the war and in turning so much of the world against the United States.