Of recent, you are more likely to hear foreign leaders praising President Bush, as Tony Blair did recently, than to hear a good word out of his own Republican Party colleagues. In the first live debate for presidential hopefuls, it was Ronald Reagan who was praised and idolised, not the current president. Bush's name was mentioned only once in the entire three hour debate, and even then only in passing.
Today's praise comes from the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, who has rarely faulted the president for anything, and has previously lamented Bush as being like other great war time leaders, Winston Churchill in particular, but presumably without the morning eye openers.
Downer was in LA with Condoleezza Rice yesterday, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. He compared Bush's 'War on Terror' as being akin to Reagan's supposed "Victory" over the Soviets during the Cold War. Bush has shown, according to Downer, not only "courage" but "tremendous courage"in confronting Islamist terrorism and ideology :
Music to W.'s ears, no doubt. He's certainly not hearing it from any of Republicans, or even the conservative media and blogworld, who are now hammering him over his new immigration policies.
"When I think about the war on terror and the decisions he has had to make, these have been tough decisions....The final judgments about his presidency in relation to some of those decisions will be made years and years off into the future.
"... Will people say of President George W Bush that he ran away when the terrorists struck?
"I don't they will say that about him either. They will say that he confronted them and showed a lot of courage in doing so."