The election of Barack Obama in November 2008 brought George W. Bush in the last stage of his presidency. The transition with the administration Obama ends on 20 January 2009, the date of transfer of power to the forty-fourth president of the United States. In recent speeches and conference submissions, made in January 2009, President George W. Bush strongly defended his presidency by speaking of a “good and strong balance sheet”, rejecting criticism of his management of the “war against terrorism, Iraq and the economy. He recognized a few errors which the deployment of the banner “Mission Accomplished” prematurely announced; the end of fighting in Iraq, the fact we have not found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the scandal of abuse suffered by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison. He nevertheless believes that history will judge his “once spent some time”, as was the case for Harry Truman, unpopular president when he left his post but now admired for his policy during the Cold War.
In his last televised address, delivered on 15 January 2009, five days before leaving the White House, he again defended his record in the field of national security, citing the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the transformation of Army, FBI, intelligence services and the introduction of new instruments to “monitor the movements of terrorists, freeze their financial assets and foil their plots.” He cited the example of Afghanistan and Iraq, two new democracies, explained his philosophy and paid tribute to his successor.
The Bush presidency ended on 20 January 2009 at 12H00 (17H00 GMT). After attending the swearing in ceremony on the Bible of his successor, George W. Bush and his wife Laura were escorted by Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to a helicopter waiting at the Capitol that led to the military base Andrews, Maryland. The former president then made his farewell to dozens of employees before flying to Texas aboard Air Force One, renamed for the occasion “Special Air Mission 28000”, especially with its parents but also his former adviser, Karl Rove and several former members of his cabinet such as Alberto Gonzales, Margaret Spellings and Donald Evans. Arriving in Midland, he was welcomed at the convention center Centennial Plaza, 20 to 30 by 000 of his supporters. Now residing at his ranch in Crawford or his new home in the suburbs of Dallas, he planned to take care of his presidential library, George W. Bush Presidential Library, whose inauguration is scheduled for 2013 on the campus of Southern Methodist University, and write a book about his two terms.
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