Over at the Washington Monthly blog, Kevin Drum discusses my previous post about not believing what Bush said in 2000. In a comment, Al Gore's college roommate Bob Somerby asks what I said about George W. Bush contemporaneously. This is a reasonable question, so I went back and looked at every column I wrote in 2000.
I see that I very seldom mentioned the campaign one way or another. The vast bulk of my writings dealt with current policy issues--the Federal Reserve, estate taxes, the state of the economy and so on. I wrote a couple of columns critical of Gore, but I could only find one largely devoted to Bush. I see in that column I was hopeful that the high quality of Bush's advisers indicated good judgment on his part. I knew most of his economic advisers personally and had a high opinion of all of them. On foreign policy, I mentioned Colin Powell's likely appointment as secretary of state as indicating a steady, moderate approach by Bush in this area.
I found a column I wrote for the Los Angeles Times on September 20 about Bush's tax plan that was decidedly lukewarm. I held out hope that once in office he would take the opportunity to fine-tune his campaign tax plan, about which I was unenthusiastic.
What comes across to me in rereading what I wrote is that Bush was simply the lesser of two evils. He might not have been very good, but at the time I thought he was better than Gore. I still don't think Gore would have been a good president. But I sure wish the Republicans had nominated someone else.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.