Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair would have been liberal Democrat had he run for office in the United States, but has surprising praise for former President George W. Bush in his new memoir. In A Journey: My Political Life, which was published this week by Alfred A. Knopf, Blair says:
“During my time as Prime Minister I came to love America . . . I worked closely with two Presidents, Bill Clinton and George Bush, and have got to know a third, Barack Obama, through my recent work in the Middle East. Leadership is personal. . . George Bush was straightforward and direct. And very smart. . . George had great intuition. But his intuition was less — as in the case of Bill — about politics and more about what he thought was right or wrong. . . .
“George has a sense of calm. I was in the White House on the evening of Sept. 20, 2001, with George just before he was to give his first speech to Congress after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington nine days earlier. . . over time, and more even in retrospect as events have continued to unfold after I left office, I have come to admire the simplicity, the directness, almost the boldness of George, finding in it strength and integrity.”