Friday, November 05, 2004

Spend The Capital

As most of you will know, Fridays bring a new column by Charles Krauthammer. He speaks of wasted political capital and his prediction of how Bush will use his newly filled tank of captital. Go ahead, you know what to do.
Many popular political leaders hoard their political capital. For leaders in their last term, that is a sign of vanity. It is the mark of greatness to be willing to spend your remaining political capital on something important rather than good press. Harry Truman left office scorned and unloved. History has been very kind to him. He spent all of his political capital, his account so depleted by Korea that he did not have enough to run for reelection in 1952.

Reagan and Clinton, on the other hand, left office popular, which to me is a great failing. They retired rich in political capital. What a waste.

Bush will not waste his. As he said explicitly during his news conference yesterday, "I earned capital on the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it." After all, in his first term, with his political career at stake, he undertook Iraq, something that no one asked him to do and that promised only terrible political risk. He knew that he was wagering his presidency but did it nonetheless because he thought it necessary for the safety of the nation.

This is why Bush will eventually be remembered as one of the greatest presidents of all time. Scoff all you want liberals, but that bolded sentence is what defines greatness for a president.